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  • What's new in Hyper-V 2016
  • Microsoft Azure

Tag: Virtualization

Switch Windows Container to Hyper-V Container

Switch a Windows Server Container to a Hyper-V Container

With Technical Preview 4 of Windows Server 2016 made the new Hyper-V Containers available. With that you can now use Windows Server Container and Hyper-V Container. To run Hyper-V Containers you have to make sure, you have Hyper-V Nested Virtualization active for your Container Host VM.

If you create a new Container it will create a Windows Server Container by default, if you want to create a Hyper-V container you have to switch the RuntimeType to Hyper-V.

With the following command you can see which RuntimeType the Container has:

To change the runtime Type to Hyper-V Container you can use the following command:

So switch it back to a Windows Server Container you can use the following command:

 



Best of Windows Server 2016 Webinar

Webinar: Best of Windows Server 2016 – The new Foundation of Windows

Together with Veeam I am proud to present in two webinars about the new features in Windows Server 2016. The title of the webinar will be Best of Windows Server 2016 – The new Foundation of Windows and will cover the greatest new features of Windows Server 2016.

Join Veeam for a webinar on the Best of Windows Server 2016 — The New Foundation of Windows. You’ll be one of the first to know about new, exciting improvements that are coming in Windows Server 2016 and how they’ll improve your day-to-day job. In this hour-long webinar, Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations including:

Attend this FREE Webinar to learn about the latest and greatest features of Windows Server 2016. You have to options one for North America and one for EMEA.

December 15 Tuesday NA 1pm ET, EMEA 2pm CET

Best of Windows Server 2016 – The new Foundation of Windows

Join Veeam for a free webinar on the Best of Windows Server 2016 — The New Foundation of Windows. You’ll be one of the first to know about new, exciting improvements that are coming in Windows Server 2016 and how they’ll improve your day-to-day job.

 

Thomas Maurer, one of the first Veeam Vanguards, is a cloud architect at a Swiss consulting and engineering company called itnetX AG. Thomas focuses on Microsoft Technologies, specifically Microsoft Cloud Solutions based Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Virtualization and Microsoft Azure. Thomas was awarded the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Award for his expertise in virtual machines (VMs) in 2012. He works closely with Microsoft and their partners to promote Microsoft technology at technical events.



Configure Nano Server Container Host

Setup Windows Containers on Nano Server

With the release of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 Microsoft allows you to use Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers on Nano Server. In this blog post I will cover how you can setup a Nano Server on Hyper-V and let it use as a Container Host for your Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers inside this Nano Server VM. I already described how you can create a Nano Server VHDX file and how you can manage your Nano Server using PowerShell or PowerShell Direct so you can use this quick guide to set this up.

Create Nano Server Container Host VM

Create a new Nano Server Container Host VHDX file using the following features:

  • GuestDrivers (VM Drivers for Hyper-V)
  • Containers
  • Compute (Hyper-V role, if you want to run Hyper-V Containers)
  • ReverseForwarders

Create Nano Server Container Host VM PowerShell

Create Nano Server VM

This will create a new VHDX and you can create a new Virtual Machine. The Virtual Machine you create has to have at least 2 vCPUs.

If you want to use Hyper-V Containers inside this Virtual Machine, you have to setup the Virtual Machine to use Nested Virtualization. For this you can use this PowerShell command:

Configure Nano Server Container Host

Startup your Nano Server Virtual Machine and use PowerShell remoting to connect to it:

Configure Nano Server Container Host

You have to configure networking for your container host, you can create a External Switch or a new NAT Switch. If you use a new NAT Switch you can use the following commands:

Now you can download the Nano Server Container Image to your Container Host, so you can create new Containers based on this Image.

Now you can start using Containers inside your Nano Server Container Host.First thing you may notice is how fast and light weight everything is. For example, on my Surface Book it takes 7-8 seconds for the first initial boot of my Nano Server VM and new containers are created and started in less than a second. I really think that the concept of Nano Server and Container will bring a lot of benefits which will make both solutions a great success. When you deploy new servers today it takes several minutes until they are ready, with Nano Server it only takes seconds. If you copy for example a Windows Server Full Installation VHD you copy around 12GB, with Nano Server you copy around 400-500MB.



Windows Server 2016 core licenses

Windows Server 2016 Licensing and Pricing

Last night Microsoft released more information about Windows Server 2016. We already got some interesting technical feature information such as Hyper-V, Containers, Nano Server and much more. This is the first time Microsoft is talking about Windows Server 2016 licensing.

Let’s start first with a disclaimer here: All information on the blog are coming from the Microsoft papers released in December 2015. The information maybe change in the future or are not correct written on my blog. This blog post just wants to give you a little consolidated overview about the licensing changes. If you want to make sure you will be licensed correctly, connect with Microsoft and/or Microsoft Partner.

Microsoft still will have two version of Windows Server 2016 with Datacenter and Standard edition, as they had in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. There are two big changes in licensing of Windows Server 2016. For Windows Server 2016 Microsoft is changing from a per-processor licensing to per-core licensing for Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter Editions. And the second big change is that there is no feature parity between Standard Edition and Datacenter Edition. In Windows Server 2012 R2 you basically had the same features in both editions and the only difference were Virtual Machine use rights. (Except for one feature called Automatic Virtual Machine Activation.) There is also some interesting scenarios for hybrid cloud deployments using the Azure hybrid use benefit.

I picked some of the interesting parts out of the Microsoft released papers:

Windows Server 2016 Editions:

  • Datacenter Edition for highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments.
  • Standard Edition for non-virtualized or lightly virtualized environments.
  • Information about other editions of Windows Server 2016 and Windows Storage Server 2016 will be provided in Q1 2016

Windows Server 2016 Editions
What does the change to a Cores + CAL based licensing model bring:

To license a physical server, all physical cores must be licensed in the server. A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor in the server and a minimum of 16 cores is required to be licensed for servers with one processor.

  • The price of 16-core licenses of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Edition will be same price as the 2 proc license of the corresponding editions of the Windows Server 2012 R2 version.
  • Standard Edition provides rights for up to 2 OSEs or Hyper-V containers when all physical cores in the server are licensed. Multiple licenses can be assigned to the same cores for additional OSEs or Hyper-V containers.
  • Each user and/or device accessing a licensed Windows Server Standard or Datacenter edition requires a Windows Server CAL. Each Window Server CAL allows access to multiple licenses Windows Servers.
  • A Windows Server CAL gives a user or device the right to access any edition of Windows Server of the same or earlier version.
  • Some additional or advanced functionality such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Management Services will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL.

How to license the physical cores for Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter Editions

Windows Server 2016 core licenses

  • License all the physical cores in the server
  • Minimum of 8 core licenses required for each proc
  • Minimum of 16 core licenses required for each server
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two.
  • 8 two-core packs will be the minimum required to license each physical server.
  • The two-core pack for each edition is 1/8th the price of a two proc license for corresponding 2012 R2 editions.

FAQ:

Some information form the Microsoft FAQ;

  • How do I license Nano Server?
    Nano Server is a deployment option within Windows Server 2016. It is included as part of the licensing of the edition from which it is deployed. There is no unique or separate licensing for Nano Server.
  • Where is the information about other editions of Windows Server, Windows Storage Server, Azure Stack and other products coming next year?
    More information is coming in Q1CY16 about Azure Stack, Windows Server Essentials and the rest of the Windows Server editions and other related products.
  • Are CALs still required for Windows Server 2016?
    Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions will continue to require Windows Server CALs for every user or device accessing a server.. Some additional or advanced functionality will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL. These are CALs that you need in addition to the Windows Server CAL to access functionality, such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Management Services.
  • What are the changes for Hyper-V?
    Standard Editions still allows you to use two virtual OSEs and Datacenter allows you to use unlimited virtual OSEs, but they are now not licensed on processor or servers, they are now licensed based on cores.
  • What about Hyper-V Containers and Windows Containers?
    Hyper-V Containers are licensed the same as Hyper-V Virtual Machines. No information about Windows Containers right now.
  • How should I think about hyper-threading in the core based licensing?
    Windows Server and System Center 2016 are licensed by physical cores, not virtual cores. Therefore, customers only need to inventory and license the physical cores on their processors.
  • If processors (and therefore cores) are disabled from Windows use, do I still need to license the cores?
    If the processor is disabled for use by Windows, the cores on that processor do not need to be licensed. For example, if 2 processors in a 4 processor server (with 8 cores per processor) were disabled and not available for Windows Server use, only 16 cores would need to be licensed. However, disabling hyper threading or disabling cores for specific programs does not relieve the need for a Windows Server license on the physical cores.
  • I read that Windows Server 2016 will support nested virtualization-a VM running inside a VM. How do you license that scenario?
    Windows Server 2016 Datacenter licensing allows for unlimited virtualization and so would easily cover this scenario. Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition licensing is for low to no virtualization scenarios and supports up to two virtual machines. A virtual machine running inside a virtual machine counts as two virtual machines from licensing perspective.

You can get more information about the next version of Windows Server on the Windows Server 2016 website. And the following resources:

 



Hyper-V Nested Virtualization

Nested Virtualization in Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10

I already wrote a blog post bout Nested Virtualization in Windows 10 some weeks ago. With Technical Preview 4 of Windows Server 2016 Microsoft also introduced Nested Virtualization in Windows Server Hyper-V. Nested Virtualization allows you to run a Hypervisor inside a Virtual Machine running on a Hypervisor. This is a great case for demo and lab environment and also if you want to run Virtual Hyper-V servers in Microsoft Azure IaaS Virtual Machines (we will see if Microsoft will support this in Azure in the future).

Requirements

  • At least 4 GB RAM available for the virtualized Hyper-V host.
  • To run at least Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 or Windows 10 build 10565 on both the physical Hyper-V host and the virtualized host. Running the same build in both the physical and virtualized environments generally improves performance.
  • A processor with Intel VT-x (nested virtualization is available only for Intel processors at this time).
  • Other Hypervisors will not work

How to set it up

To enable Nested Virtualization in Hyper-V, Microsoft created a script you can use which I already documented in my first blog post about Nested Virtualization. But of course you can do this also manual doing the following steps:

  • disable Dynamic Memory on Virtual Machine
  • enable Virtualization Extensions on the vCPU
  • enable MAC Address Spoofing
  • set Memory of the Virtual Machine to a minimum of 4GB RAM

To set the Virtualization Extension for the vCPU you can use PowerShell:

Limitations

With Nested Virtualization there are coming some limitations:

  • Once nested virtualization is enabled in a virtual machine, the following features are no longer compatible with that VM.
    These actions will either fail, or cause the virtual machine not to start if it is hosting other virtual machines:

    • Dynamic memory must be OFF. This will prevent the VM from booting.
    • Runtime memory resize will fail.
    • Applying checkpoints to a running VM will fail.
    • Live migration will fail — in other words, a VM which hosts other VMs cannot be live migrated.
    • Save/restore will fail.
  • Hosts with Device Guard enabled cannot expose virtualization extensions to guests.
  • Hosts with Virtualization Based Security (VBS) enabled cannot expose virtualization extensions to guests. You must first disable VBS in order to preview nested virtualization.

For more information check out the Microsoft page about Hyper-V Nested Virtualization.

 

 

 

 



Create NAT Virtual Switch on Hyper-V

Hyper-V Virtual Switch using NAT Configuration

In the latest Windows 10 build 10586 (Threshold 2) and Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4, Microsoft included a great new feature which is NAT mode for the Hyper-V Virtual Switch. This was mostly build for Windows Containers scenarios, but also has great value for Client Hyper-V. As of today Hyper-V had 3 different VMSwitch types called, Internal, Private and External. With the latest releases of the Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4, Microsoft included a new VM Switch Type called NAT, which allows Virtual Machines to have a Internal Network and connect to the external world and internet using NAT. This feature right now is not included in the UI but you can use PowerShell to create the NAT Virtual Switch.

Create a new Virtual Switch using NAT:

Create NAT Virtual Switch on Hyper-V

Setup the NAT configuration:

This will create a new VM Network Adapter on the host using the 172.91.92.1 IP Address. You can now use the NATSwitch to connect Virtual Machines. You can now set IP Addresses inside Virtual Machines to the 172.91.92.0/24 subnet and add 172.91.92.1 as the default gateway and you are good to go.

Hyper-V Virtual Switch NAT Configuration

Have fun and enjoy! Thanks to Ben Armstrong (Microsoft VirtualPCGuy) for the info.



E2EVC Copenhagen

Speaking at E2EVC 2015 Lisbon

After a great time in the US visiting VeeamON 2015, the Microsoft MVP Summit 2015 and the MMS 2015, I am happy to announce that I will speak tomorrow at the E2EVC (Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference) in Lisbon. Together with Alex Cooper (Microsoft MVP Remote Desktop Services) and Dr. Benny Tritsch (Microsoft MVP Remote Desktop Services), I will speak in one of the keynote about updates in the Microsoft Virtualization Technology.

What’s new with Microsoft Virtualization & Remote Desktop Services – Windows Server 2016 T3 Update

We will cover what is new in Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services and Azure RemoteApp.

E2EVC Virtualization Conference is a non-commercial, virtualization community event. The main goal of the E2EVC is to bring the best virtualization experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. E2EVC is a weekend crammed with presentations, Master Classes and discussions delivered by both virtualization vendors product teams and independent experts. I am happy to be part of the community and listen to other industry leading experts, hopefully see you in Lisbon.