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

Tag: 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 IP Address. You can now use the NATSwitch to connect Virtual Machines. You can now set IP Addresses inside Virtual Machines to the subnet and add 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.

System Center Universe Europe

Session Recordings from System Center Universe Europe 2015

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to speak at System Center Universe Europe 2015 in Basel. I had the chance to speak in 4 sessions about the latest and greatest Microsoft technology solutions. You can check out my conference recap here on my blog post: System Center Universe Europe 2015 – Recap. A couple of days ago System Center Universe Europe made the session recordings available online.

Nano Server the next generation of Cloud Server in your datacenter

In this session we will walk you through how Nano Server is changing the fundamental way we look at fabric Servers and workloads. Nano Server will change the way we build servers and solve fundamental challenges which we have encountered over the pact years embracing cloud fundamentals. Speaking together with Kristian Nese (Microsoft MVP)

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 for Hyper-V

With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft adds again exiting features to its Virtualization Platform. Learn in this session what Shielded VMs, Rolling Cluster Upgrades, Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper converged, PowerShell Direct, Windows Containers, and much more is and how you can profit from these new technologies. Speaking together with Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP)

Azure Site Recovery, 365 days later

Disaster Recovery, everyone talks about it – everyone claims they have it! But does it really work as expected?! Join us in the session about Azure Site Recovery, the business continuity service from Microsoft for all cloud platforms, on-premise – service providers – public cloud. You will learn how your company or customers can use ASR in their datacenter and which new scenarios have been added in the last 365 days, since we presented this topic at SCU 2014. Speaking together with Michel Lüscher (Microsoft)

Are ITIL and System Center BFFs?

In the modern world where organizations are facing new challenges to be more competitive, they are looking for better ways to improve the quality and efficiency of their IT Service delivery using the ITIL framework. Gain valuable insights and best practices on how you can adopt the ITIL framework to Microsoft System Center and OMS from real world experiences together with Savision, Jonas Lenntun, CEO and Solution Architect at Approved Consulting, and Microsoft MVPs: Robert Hedblom, Kristian Nese, Kevin Greene and Thomas Maurer.

Hyper-V Nested Virtualization

Hyper-V Nested Virtualization in Windows 10 Build 10565

This week Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build to the Windows Insiders. It brings a couple of new features to the OS, but Ben Armstrong (Hyper-V Program Manager at Microsoft) mentions in a blog post that it also brings a preview of Nested Virtualization to Hyper-V in Windows 10. Nested Virtualization allows you to run Hyper-V inside a VM. This is prefect for Lab and Training scenarios, so you can run multiple Hyper-V server without the need of a lot of physical hardware.

So how can you enable Nested Virtualization in this early preview build? Theo Thompson describes this in a blog post:

Step 1: Create a VM

Step 2: Run the enablement script

Given the configuration requirements (e.g. dynamic memory must be off), we’ve tried to make things easier by providing a PowerShell script.

This script will check your configuration, change anything which is incorrect (with permission), and enable nested virtualization for a VM. Note that the VM must be off.

Step 3: Install Hyper-V in the guest

From here, you can install Hyper-V in the guest VM.

Step 4: Enable networking (optional)

Once nested virtualization is enabled in a VM, MAC spoofing must be enabled for networking to work in its guests. Run the following PowerShell (as administrator) on the host machine:

Step 5: Create nested VMs

This is still a very early preview and this means this feature still has a lot of know issues:

  • Both hypervisors need to be the latest versions of Hyper-V. Other hypervisors will not work. Windows Server 2012R2, or even builds prior to 10565 will not work.
  • Once nested virtualization is enabled in a VM, the following features are no longer compatible with that VM. These actions will either fail, or cause the VM not to start:
    • 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.
    • Save/restore will fail.
  • Once nested virtualization is enabled in a VM, MAC spoofing must be enabled for networking to work in its 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.
  • This feature is currently Intel-only. Intel VT-x is required.
  • Beware: nested virtualization requires a good amount of memory. I managed to run a VM in a VM with 4 GB of host RAM, but things were tight.



Containers PowerShell

First steps with Windows Containers

At Microsoft Ignite 2015 back in Chicago Microsoft announced Windows Containers. With the release of the Technical Preview 3 (TP3) for Windows Server 2016 we are finally able to start using Windows Containers, and we can finally test them. But first let use check a little what containers are.

The concept of containers is nothing new, in the Linux world containers are a well known concept. If you have a look at the Wikipedia description for Linux Containers, Wikipedia describes it as follows: LXC (Linux Containers) is an operating-system-level virtualization environment for running multiple isolated Linux systems (containers) on a single Linux control host. Containers provide operating system-level virtualization through a virtual environment that has its own process and network space, instead of creating a full-fledged virtual machine. With Windows Server 2016 more or less the same concept comes the Windows world. This makes containers much more light-weight, faster and less resource consuming than Virtual Machines, which makes it perfect for some scenarios, especially dev-test scenarios or for worker roles.

Container Ecosystem

If we have a look at the concept of containers you have several things in the container ecosystem:

Container Ecosystem

First you have the Container Run-Time which builds the boundaries between the different containers and the operating system. To make deployment easier, faster and more efficient you build Container Images which Include the application frameworks as well as the applications on top of the OS used for the container. To use, store and share Container Images you can use an Image Repository.

The question most people will ask is how are containers different than Virtual Machines etc.

Physical Server

Physical Host

At the beginning what we did is, we installed an operating system on physical hardware and in that operating system we installed applications directly.

Virtual Machines

Virtual Machines

With virtual machines we created simulated some virtual hardware on top of the operating system of the physical server. We installed an operating system inside the virtual machine on top of the virtual hardware and installed application inside the VM. In this case, each virtual machine has its own operating system.



With container we use an operating-system-level virtualization environment which create boundaries between different applications. This is so efficient you can run multiple applications side by side without effecting each other. Since this is operating-system-level virtualization you cannot only directly on the operating system on the physical hardware, you can also use operating-system-level virtualization inside a virtual machine. This is by the way the way I see most of the deployments of containers.

Windows Containers vs. Hyper-V Containers

Hyper-V Containers

Microsoft will provide two different types of Container Run-Times. One is Windows Containers and the other one will be Hyper-V Containers (not Hyper-V Virtual Machines). In some cases it is maybe not compliant that some applications share the same operating system. In this case Hyper-V Containers will add an extra boundaries of security. Hyper-V Containers are basically Windows Containers running in a Hyper-V Partition, so with that you gain all the stuff you get with Windows Containers but with another layer of isolation.The great thing here, is that both Container Run-Times use the exam same image format. This means if an image is created in a Windows Container Run-Time it also works as a Hyper-V Container and vice versa.

Hyper-V Containers Nested Virtualization

The other great side effect of Hyper-V Containers is, that in order to run Hyper-V Containers inside a Virtual Machine we need nested Virtualization, which will be included in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. Btw. Hyper-V Containers are not part of the Technical Preview 3.

(Pictures from the Microsoft Ignite 2015 presentation of Taylor Brown and Arno Mihm (Program Managers for Containers)

Deploy Windows Containers

With the release of the Technical Preview 3 of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft made Windows Containers available to the public. To get started you can download a install Windows Server 2016 inside a Virtual Machine or even bare-metal. If the virtual machine has internet connection you can use the following command to download the configuration script, which will prepare your container host.

Install Windows Container Host

After that you can run the C:\ContainerSetup.ps1 script, which will prepare your container host. This can take some time depending on your internet connection and hardware.

The VM will restart several times and if it is finished you can start using Windows Containers inside this Virtual Machine.

Managing Windows Containers

Containers PowerShell Module

After you have logged in to the Virtual Machine you can start managing Containers using PowerShell:

Containers PowerShell

Get Container Images, by default you will get a WindowsServerCore Image. You can also create your own images, based on this image.

Create a new Container

Start the container

Connect to the Container using Enter-PSSession

Of course you an also use the docker command to make your containers.

Windows Containers Docker

Deploy a Container Host in Microsoft Azure

If you don’t want to go trough all the installation process you can also use a Template in Microsoft Azure to deploy a new Container Host Virtual Machine.

Microsoft Azure Windows Server Container Preview

If you need some more information on Windows Containers check out the Microsoft Resources on MSDN about Windows Server Containers.


Nutanix Coding Challenge Total Recode

Judge at the Nutanix Coding Challenge

Nutanix just announced the PowerShell Coding Challenge for your Nutanix environment. The challenge will be to build a script which solves a real world problem in these use cases: Provisioning/orchestration, reporting, data protection, disaster recovery and runbook automation.

Do you have what it takes to write the best script for a Nutanix environment? Find out by participating in the inaugural Total Recode challenge. This global contest gives you a platform for showcasing your best talent. May the most creative, badass coding guru win!

Want to get more familiar with the Nutanix product and test your script? Check out the Nutanix Prism APIs and our recently announced Community Edition software.

Nutanix Coding Challenge Prizes

You can win great prices:

  • Best Overall
    DJ1 Inspire 1 Drone (Valued up
    to $4000) or $4000 cash prize
  • Most Impactful
    Home Lab ($2,500 value)
    or $2,500 cash prize
  • Most Creative
    $2000 cash prize

And I am proud the be a judge in this contest with other great minds:


Nutanix Coding Challenge Judges

If you want to know more or join the challenge, check out the Nutantix Coding Challenge: Total Recode website.

E2EVC Copenhagen

Speaking at E2EVC 2015 Berlin

Last year I was speaking at the Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference (E2EVC) at E2EVC Barcelona and E2EVC Brussels. And I am proud to announce that I will speak at E2EVC 2015 in Berlin next week from 12-14 June. Together with Michael Ruefli (Microsoft MVP for Cloud and Datacenter Management) I will speak about the latest announcement from the Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter evolution, covering topics like Azure Stack, Nano Server, Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016, Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure.

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 Berlin.