Last updated by at .

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

Tag: VMM

VCNRW Nano Server and Container

Nano Server – The future of Windows Server – Just enough OS

Finally, Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 and with Windows Server 2016 we also get the first version of Nano Server. I had the opportunity to speak on several different events and conferences about Nano Server, so I tried to create a quick summary of my presentation in this blog post.

Nano Server installation option Just enough OS

Nano Server - Just enough OS

Nano Server is a redesign version of Windows Server which is very lightweight, very small footprint and fully remote managed and it is designed to solve some of the datacenter challenges we have today. Nano Server is a headless, 64-bit only deployment option of Windows Server. Microsoft basically removed all components from the base image. Roles and feature are not directly included in the base image and they have to be added while creating a new Nano Server Image or online using PowerShell Package Management. Not even the drivers are included in the base image, since you don’t want the physical drivers in a virtual machines, and you don’t want the virtual drivers on a physical machine This is also the reason why Nano Server does not show up during the installation dialog when you boot the Windows Server 2016 ISO file.

Nano Server Key Scenarios

The first version of Nano Server is designed for the following key scenarios:

  1. Born-in-the-cloud applications – support for multiple programming languages and runtimes. (e.g. ASP.NET Core, C#, Java, Node.js, Python, etc.) running in containers, virtual machines, or on physical servers.
  2. Microsoft Cloud Platform infrastructure – support for compute clusters running Hyper-V and storage clusters running Scale-out File Server and Storage Spaces Direct.
  3. But Microsoft also added some other roles like DNS and IIS to the Nano Server and we can expect more roles and features in the future.

In this version Nano Server will of course not replace Windows Server Core and Windows Server (Full or Server with Desktop Experience), but it will be definitely be they way going forward.

Nano Server Footprint

Nano Server has a very small foot print, The default WIM file has a size around 170 MB and if you create a Nano Server VHD or VHDX file it can be only around 400 MB in size. If you add more roles, features and drivers the size of the image gets bigger, but even if you add more stuff the size will be around 800 MB for an Hyper-V server including the Hyper-V role, Failover Clustering Feature, DCB feature, Physical OEM drivers and additional network adapter and storage controller drivers. If you compare Nano Server to Windows Server you can see some of the following changes:

  • 93 percent lower VHD size
  • 92 percent fewer critical bulletins
  • 80 percent fewer reboots

Nano Server Servicing Improvements

Nano Server Servicing Improvments

Nano Server Deployment Improvements

Nano Server Deployment Improvments

This not only reduced deployment time and gives you some operational improvements, it also reduces the attack surface by a lot and this is a huge security improvement.

To achieve these results, Microsoft removed some parts of Windows Server such as:

  • GUI stack
  • 32 bit support (WOW64)
  • MSI support
  • RDP
  • Some default Server Core components
  • Basic OEM Drivers
  • and more

Nano Server Management

By removing the User Interface stack, Microsoft made this server to a true headless server, without any login screen or RDP support. By removing the Graphic User Interface, Windows Administrator have to learn new ways how they manage servers, or better use existing ways to manage a Nano Server environment. The answer is simple and is the best practice for managing servers for a long time called Remote Management. Nano Server will offer some advanced remote Management features such as:

  • WMI
  • PowerShell Remoting
  • PowerShell Direct
  • PowerShell Desired State Configuration
  • RSAT Tools (Server Manager, Hyper-V Manager, Failover Cluster Manager, …)
  • System Center and other Management tools
  • Server Management Tools (Azure Web-based management tools to replace local inbox management tools)

With that, existing Remote Management Tools, such as Server Manager and other RSAT tools, will continue to work. But Microsoft also improved PowerShell Remoting and introduces the Azure Serivce for Server Management Tools.

Server Management Tools

Microsoft Azure Server Management Tools Topology

This service allows you to manage your servers directly from Azure using a web-based HTML5 portal. I personally think that this could also replace Server Manager and allows you to easily manage non-GUI servers such as Windows Server Core and Nano Server.

Azure Remote Server Management Nano Server

If you want to know more about the Sever Management Tools, check out my blog post: Manage Nano Server and Windows Server from Azure using Remote Server Management Tools

The Server Management Tools do not only support Nano Server, they also support Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 with WMF 5.0 and higher.

Remote Manage Nano Server with PowerShell

Nano Server PowerShell Remoting

The simplest way to manage Nano Server is by using PowerShell Remoting using for exmaple the following command.

If you are directly on a Hyper-V Server you can also use PowerShell Direct which allows you to directly connect to a Virtual Machine using the Hyper-V VMBus.

If you want to know more about Managing Nano Server check out the following blog posts How to Remote Manage your Nano Server using PowerShell or Hyper-V PowerShell Direct.

Manage Nano Server using System Center

Nano Server can also be managed using System Center Virtual Machine Manager and System Center Operations Manager. With SCVMM you can deploy new Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct hosts as well as Virtual Machines.

Deploy Nano Server

To deploy Nano Server as a virtual machine or as a physical host you have to create a new Nano Server Image. For this you have basically have two option. The first one is using the built in Nano Server Image Generator PowerShell module and the second option is the Nano Server Image Builder UI wizard.

Nano Server Image Generator PowerShell module

New-NanoServerImage

The Nano Server Image Generator PowerShell module allows you to create new Nano Server Images. You can find this on the Windows Server 2016 media in the Nano Server folder. Here is a quick example how to create a new VHDX using the PowerShell module.

Nano Server Image Builder

Nano Server Image Builder

The Nano Server Image Builder is a UI based wizard to create Nano Server Images in VHDX, VHD, WIM or ISO to install Nano Server on all possible systems.

The Nano Server Image Builder can help you with the following tasks:

  • Graphical UI to create Nano Server Images
  • Adding drivers
  • Choose Windows Server Edition
  • Adding roles and features
  • Adding drivers
  • Adding updates
  • Configuration of Network Settings
  • Configuration of Domain settings
  • Set Remoting Options
  • Create an ISO file to boot from DVD or BMC (remote connection like HP ILO)

First download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and the Nano Server Image Builder.

If you need more information about deploying Nano Server check my blog post about Create a Nano Server using the Nano Server Image Builder and How to create a Nano Server Image using PowerShell.

Nano Server Packages

Nano Server Packages

Roles, Features and Drivers live outside of the basic Nano Server Image have to be added while creating the Nano Server Image or after that using PowerShell Package Management.

You can find and install Windows Packages from the online package repository by using the NanoServerPackage provider of PackageManagement (OneGet) PowerShell module.

Troubleshooting Nano Server

Nano Server Recovery Console

Hyper-V Nano Server Console

When you boot Nano Server you can not really login to Nano Server and browse the file system. What you can do is login to the Nano Server Recovery Console which allows you to do some basic tasks:

  • Shows computer info like Name, IP Configuration, OS Version and more
  • Reset Networking to DHCP
  • Reset basic Windows Firewall rules
  • If the Server is a Hyper-V Server you can see the VM running on the system and remove the Virtual Switch

Sysinternals for Nano Server

Sysinternals for Nano Server

There is also a Sysinternals version for Nano Server.

Nano Server over a serial port with Emergency Management Services

Emergency Management Services (EMS) lets you perform basic troubleshooting, get network status, and open console sessions (including CMD/PowerShell) by using a terminal emulator over a serial port. This replaces the need for a keyboard and monitor to troubleshoot a server.

You can include this using the following cmdlets

Nano Server Servicing

Nano Server Servicing

Windows Server are usually from the Long Term Servicing Branch and have 5 + 5 years of servicing and only get security and quality fixes, no new features. In Windows Server 2016 Server Core and Server with Desktop Experience follow this traditional servicing model. Nano Server on the other hand will be in a new servicing branch called Current Branch for Business (CBB).

  • Nano Server will not have an LTSB with Windows Server 2016 and therefore not have 5+5 years of servicing
  • Nano Server installations will have to move forward to future CBB releases of Nano Server to continue to be serviced
  • Licensing Nano Server will require Software Assurance (SA)
  • Installation of new CBBs are always controlled by administrators, no forced upgrades

Nano Server Key Wins

  • Easy and fast to deploy
  • Lightweight
  • Easily integrates with our automated approach
  • Reduces attack surface
  • Works with existing deployment tools (WDS, SCVMM, SCCM and boot from VHDX)
  • Reduces operational overhead
  • Highly stable
  • Delivers on scale and performance

Conclusion

In my opinion the effort Microsoft does with Nano Server really makes sense and will help Service Providers as well as Enterprise companies to deploy clouds even faster, more secure, more efficient and with less management overhead. Of course it is still early and Nano Server may not fit every case and scenario today, but definitely in the future.

 

 

 



5Nine Hyper-V Security Agentless

Secure your Hyper-V environment with 5nine Cloud Security 8.1

In the past years I was building several Hyper-V environments together with Enterprise customers and with service providers. In a lot of cases customer wanted more security in there Cloud and Virtualization environment. Security becoming a even more critical part in your datacenter and with a high virtualization rate, it gets even more critical and complex to manage. Especially when Virtual Machines can move from on cluster to another or from one datacenter to another. 5nine is one of the vendors who has a great solution, for this challenges. A couple of years back I wrote a blog post about 5Nine Cloud Security version 4.0. 5nine Cloud Security is a unified security and compliance solution designed to specifically address every Hyper-V security vulnerability across every virtual resource.

Last week at Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V 2016, with that 5nine released 5nine Cloud Security 8.1 which supports Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V 2016.

5nine Cloud Security has some unique key features to secure your environment.

  • Distributed vFirewall – Secure multi-tenant Hyper-V environment and provide VM isolation
  • Agentless Antimalware Detection – Protect Hyper-V with patent-pending agentless Kaspersky or ThreatTrack antivirus now with Real-Time Malware Detection
  • Enforce security compliance

5Nine Hyper-V Security Agentless

Key features

if you look at it on a security features list, 5nine Cloud Security offers you the following security features:

  • Automatically & Instantly Secure all Virtual Machines, Disks, Networks and Switches
  • Choice of Leading Antivirus Engines
  • Agentless AV – Full Virtual Machine Scans
  • Agentless AV – Real-time HTTP Virus and Malware Detection
  • Hyper-V Optimized Real-time Active Protection Agent
  • Agentless Firewall
    • Granular control over each virtual machine using Hyper-V
    • Extensible Switch, no agent required
    • Configure the Advanced / Full Kernel mode Virtual Firewall for each VM individually
    • MAC Address filtering
    • ARP Rules
    • SPI (stateful packet inspection)
    • Network traffic anomaly analysis
    • Inbound and outbound per VM bandwidth throttling
    • MAC broadcast filtering
    • All filtering events logging with more data (UM logs only contain blocked events)
    • Configure network filtering rules on a per-VM basis
    • Set inbound/outbound traffic limits and bandwidth utilization by virtual machine
  • Agentless Intrusion Detection
  • No need to access Guest OS to manage security
  • Centralized signature management with updates to host only
  • Incremental Fast Scans
  • Offline VM Scanning
  • Avoids Host Scanning Storms
  • Support for Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 Hyper-V
  • Supports any guest OS supported by Windows Hyper-V including Linux
  • Meet the security demands of enterprise, management service providers (MSPs), public sector, and hosting providers who leverage Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server and Cloud Platform
  • Provide the first and only seamless agentless compliance and agentless security solution for the Hyper-V Cloud
  • Deliver multi-layered protection together with integrated, agentless antivirus and intrusion detection capabilities
  • Offer unmatched levels of industry-demanded protection and compliance (including PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and Sarbanes-Oxley)
  • Secure the Cloud environment with anti-virus technology that runs with virtually zero performance impact while simultaneously improving virtual machine density
  • Provide network traffic control between virtual machines
  • Enforce secure multi-tenancy and Virtual Machines Security Groups
  • Provide NVGRE support (Hyper-V Network Virtualization)
  • Support for Microsoft Switch Embedded Teaming
  • PowerShell Module for automation

Integration and offerings

5Nine Hyper-V Security System Center VMM Plugin

5Nine Cloud Security also integrated perfectly in your Microsoft System Center environment using a System Center Virtual Machine Manager plugin.

5nine Cloud Security also offers a Windows Azure Pack Resource Provider to offer self-service to your tenants. Azure Pack (WAP) Extension is the only Security as a Service (SECaaS) solution to protect your datacenter, your customers, and their clouds as a free add-on to 5nine Cloud Security. It is the only way to enable tenants to easily manage their own Windows and Linux security policies through the Azure Pack self-service portal. Now hosting and service providers can secure multi-tenant environments and virtual machines in private, hosted or hybrid scenarios, while giving users the ability to easily configure firewalls, intrusion detection, and more.

Architecture

The installation and the management is so easy, you don’t really need any documentation. That’s how a security product should work, it should not make your environment even more complex it should help you to keep your environment secure without adding extra complexity to it. Is used 5nine for several customer environments.

  • The Management Service – This would be your 5nine management server which needs a SQL database (minimum MS SQL Express) and all Hyper-V Hosts are connected to this management server.
  • The Host Management Service – which is basically the software and agent running on the Hyper-V host itself.
  • The Management Console – The console where you can configure everything. The console is simply connected to the management server.
  • The Virtual Machine Manager Plugin – This is a plugin in VMM which allows you to manage rules directly from your System Center Virtual Machine Manager Console
  • Azure Pack Extension – Resource Provider installed on the WAP Tenant and WAP Admin servers

Impressions

5nine host service

5nine is a very light weight solution for the Hyper-V host with not a lot of overhead. On the Hyper-V host you have only two service running and the Hyper-V switch extensions.

5nine-switch-extension

 

Conclusion

Overall I think 5Nine Cloud Security is a must have solution to protect your Hyper-V environment, if you want to do more serious centralized managed security. Especially with the release of 5nine Cloud Security 8.1 directly with the release of Windows Server 2016, 5nine shows how great their development and integration in Hyper-V really is. It always supports the latest features of Hyper-V solve real world needs.

If you need more information, want to buy 5nine Cloud Security or if you need someone to help you integrated 5nine Cloud Security in your environment, feel free to contact me.

 

 



Webinar PowerShell Scripting and Automation for Hyper-V

Recording: Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM now available

Last week I had the chance to do a Webinar together with Altaro about Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM. Now you can watch the recording from this online webinar.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) provides some great automation benefits for those organizations that can afford the hefty price tag. However, if SCVMM isn’t a cost effective solution for your business, what are you to do? While VMM certainly makes automation much easier, you can achieve a good level of automation with PowerShell and the applicable PowerShell modules for Hyper-V, clustering, storage, and more.

Are you looking to get grips with automation and scripting?

Join Thomas Maurer, Microsoft Datacenter and Cloud Management MVP, who will use this webinar to show you how to achieve automation in your Hyper-V environments, even if you don’t have SCVMM.

Remember, any task you have to do more than once, should be automated. Bring some sanity to your virtual environment by adding some scripting and automation know-how to your toolbox.

 



Webinar PowerShell Scripting and Automation for Hyper-V

Webinar: Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM

There are some great Webinars coming up and I am proud to speak in one of them with Andrew Syrewicze (Altaro Software and Microsoft MVP) about PowerShell Scripting and Automation in Hyper-V.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) provides some great automation benefits for those organizations that can afford the hefty price tag. However, if SCVMM isn’t a cost effective solution for your business, what are you to do? While VMM certainly makes automation much easier, you can achieve a good level of automation with PowerShell and the applicable PowerShell modules for Hyper-V, clustering, storage, and more.

Are you looking to get grips with automation and scripting?

Join Thomas Maurer, Microsoft Datacenter and Cloud Management MVP, who will use this webinar to show you how to achieve automation in your Hyper-V environments, even if you don’t have SCVMM.

Remember, any task you have to do more than once, should be automated. Bring some sanity to your virtual environment by adding some scripting and automation know-how to your toolbox.

We’re live on Thursday, 10th December 2015 at 10am EST / 4PM CET (30-45mins + live Q&A!)

Register for the webinar here

Free Webinar about Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM

 



System Center Logo

Summary: Update Rollup 8 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Yesterday Microsoft released Update Rollup 8 for System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. Again with the Update Rollups for Windows Azure Pack and System Center, Microsoft not only delivers bug fixes, they also release new features.

There are some really cool highlights in this Update Rollup:

  • Network Virtualization Improvements (Multiple External IP Addresses,…)
  • SCDPM bug fixes
  • Better Checkpoint Integration (Checkpoint Quotas,…)
  • Support for SQL Server 2014 SP1
  • Support of Tier Storage in VMM for Storage Spaces
  • Hyper-V ACL Support in VMM
  • New Network devices in SCOM

Here you can get a quick update on what’s new in Update Rollup 8:

  • Data Protection Manager (KB3086084)
    • The DPM Agent crashes intermittently during a backup.
    • If you are trying to recover data from an imported tape, DPM may crash with a “Connection to the DPM service has been lost” error.
    • If you try to back up a SharePoint site that uses SQL Always On as a content database, SQL logs are not truncated as expected.
    • You cannot verify tape library compatibility for tapes that use RSMCompatmode settings such as IBM 35xx, 2900, and so on.
    • If you have multiple SharePoint farms hosted on the same SQL cluster with different instances but the same database names, DPM cannot back up the correct SharePoint farm content.
    • If you run Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, and you have already configured online protection for one or more protection groups, trying to change the protection group populates the default DPM settings for the “Select long-term goals” wizard instead of the previous configured values.
    • When you try to protect a SQL failover cluster, the Data Protection Manager UI crashes for every backup or synchronization operation.
    • If you install Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, self-service recovery for SQL databases may not work.
  • Operations Manager (KB3096382)
    • Slow load of alert view when it is opened by an operator
      Sometimes when the operators change between alert views, the views take up to two minutes to load. After this update rollup is installed, the reported performance issue is eradicated. The Alert View Load for the Operator role is now almost same as that for the Admin role user.
    • SCOMpercentageCPUTimeCounter.vbs causes enterprise wide performance issue
      Health Service encountered slow performance every five to six (5-6) minutes in a cyclical manner. This update rollup resolves this issue.
    • System Center Operations Manager Event ID 33333 Message: The statement has been terminated.
      This change filters out “statement has been terminated” warnings that SQL Server throws. These warning messages cannot be acted on. Therefore, they are removed.
    • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager: Report event 21404 occurs with error ‘0x80070057’ after Update Rollup 3 or Update Rollup 4 is applied.
      In Update Rollup 3, a design change was made in the agent code that regressed and caused SCOM agent to report error ‘0x80070057’ and MonitoringHost.exe to stop responding/crash in some scenarios. This update rollup rolls back that UR3 change.
    • SDK service crashes because of Callback exceptions from event handlers being NULL
      In a connected management group environment in certain race condition scenarios, the SDK of the local management group crashes if there are issues during the connection to the different management groups. After this update rollup is installed, the SDK of the local management group should no longer crash.
    • Run As Account(s) Expiring Soon — Alert does not raise early enough
      The 14-day warning for the RunAs account expiration was not visible in the SCOM console. Customers received only an Error event in the console three days before the account expiration. After this update rollup is installed, customers will receive a warning in their SCOM console 14 days before the RunAs account expiration, and receive an Error event three (3) days before the RunAs account expiration.
    • Network Device Certification
      As part of Network device certification, we have certified the following additional devices in Operations Manager to make extended monitoring available for them:

      • Cisco ASA5515
      • Cisco ASA5525
      • Cisco ASA5545
      • Cisco IPS 4345
      • Cisco Nexus 3172PQ
      • Cisco ASA5515-IPS
      • Cisco ASA5545-IPS
      • F5 Networks BIG-IP 2000
      • Dell S4048
      • Dell S3048
      • Cisco ASA5515sc
      • Cisco ASA5545sc
    • French translation of APM abbreviation is misleading
      The French translation of “System Center Management APM service” is misleading. APM abbreviation is translated incorrectly in the French version of Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager. APM means “Application Performance Monitoring” but is translated as “Advanced Power Management.” This fix corrects the translation.
    • p_HealthServiceRouteForTaskByManagedEntityId does not account for deleted resource pool members in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
      If customers use Resource Pools and take some servers out of the pool, discovery tasks start failing in some scenarios. After this update rollup is installed, these issues are resolved.
    • Exception in the ‘Managed Computer’ view when you select Properties of a managed server in Operations Manager Console
      In the Operations Manager Server “Managed Computer” view on the Administrator tab, clicking the “Properties” button of a management server causes an error. After this update rollup is installed, a dialog box that contains a “Heart Beat” tab is displayed.
    • Duplicate entries for devices when network discovery runs
      When customers run discovery tasks to discover network devices, duplicate network devices that have alternative MAC addresses are discovered in some scenarios. After this update rollup is installed, customers will not receive any duplicate devices discovered in their environments.
    • Preferred Partner Program in Administration Pane
      This update lets customers view certified System Center Operations Manager partner solutions directly from the console. Customers can obtain an overview of the partner solutions and visit the partner websites to download and install the solutions.
  • Orchestrator & SMA (KB3096381)
    • SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now supported in Orchestrator 2012 R2.
    • After you export and then import a Runbook, the Password field of Run Program activity is corrupted.
    • SMA: SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 is now supported in Service Management Automation 2012 R2.
    • SMA: Service Management Automation 2012 R2 does not let you stop jobs that are in the queued state.
  • Service Provider Foundation (KB3096384)
    • Installing update rollups for Service Provider Foundation causes additional bindings to be created, and this makes a Service Provider Foundation website inaccessible.
    • Quotas for multiple NAT connections are not supported. For more information about this feature, see WAP Update Rollup 8 documentation.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (KB3096389)
    • Support for SQL Server 2014 SP1 as VMM database
      With Update Rollup 8 for SC VMM 2012 R2 you can now have Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1 as the VMM database. This support does not include deploying service templates by using the SQL profile type as SQL Server 2014 SP1. For the latest information about SQL Server requirements for System Center 2012 R2, see the reference here.
    • Support for VMWare vCenter 6.0 management scenarios
      With Update Rollup 7, we announced support for management scenarios for vCenter 5.5. Building on our roadmap for vCenter and VMM integration and supportability, we are now excited to announce support for VMWare vCenter 6.0 in Update Rollup 8. For a complete list of supported scenarios, click here.
    • Ability to set quotas for external IP addresses
      With Update Rollup 7, we announced support for multiple external IP addresses per virtual network, but the story was incomplete, as there was no option to set quotas on the number of NAT connections. With UR8, we are glad to announce end-to-end support for this functionality, as you can now set quotas on the number of external IP addresses allowed per user role. You can also manage this by using Windows Azure Pack (WAP).
    • Support for quotas for checkpoints
      Before UR8, when you create a checkpoint through WAP, VMM does not check whether creating the checkpoint will exceed the tenant storage quota limit. Before UR8, tenants can create the checkpoint even if the storage quota limit will be exceeded.
    • Ability to configure static network adapter MAC address during operating system deployment
      With Update Rollup 8, we now provide the functionality to configure static network adapter MAC addresses during operating system deployment. If you have ever done Bare Metal provisioning of hosts and ended up having multiple hosts with the same MAC addresses (because of dynamic IP address assignment for network adapters), this could be a real savior for you.
    • Ability to deploy extended Hyper-V Port ACLs
      With Update Rollup 8 for VMM, you can now:

      • Define ACLs and their rules
      • Attach the ACLs created to a VM network, VM subnets, or virtual network adapters
      • Attach the ACL to global settings that apply it to all virtual network adapters
      • View and update ACL rules configured on the virtual network adapter in VMM
      • Delete port ACLs and ACL rules
    • Support for storage space tiering in VMM
      With Update Rollup 8, VMM now provides you the functionality to create file shares with tiers (SSD/HDD).
    • Issue 1
      Creation of Generation 2 VMs fails with error 13206
    • Issue 2
      VMM does not let you set the owner of a hardware profile with an owner name that contains the “$” symbol.
    • Issue 3
      HA VMs with VLAN configured on the network sites of a logical network cannot be migrated from one host to another. Error 26857 is thrown when you try to migrate the VM.
    • Issue 4
      The changes that are made by a tenant administrator (with deploy permissions to a cloud) to the Memory and CPU settings of a VM in the cloud through VMM Console do not stick. To work around this issue, change these settings by using PowerShell.
    • Issue 5
      When a VM is deployed and put on an SMB3 file share that’s hosted on NetApp filer 8.2.3 or later, the VM deployment process leaves a stale session open per VM deployed to the share. When many VMs are deployed by using this process, VM deployment starts to fail as the max limit of the allowed SMB session on the NetApp filer is reached.
    • Issue 6
      VMM hangs because of SQL Server performance issues when you perform VMM day-to-day operations. This issue occurs because of stale entries in the tbl_PCMT_PerfHistory_Raw table. With UR8, new stale entries are not created in the tbl_PCMT_PerfHistory_Raw table. However, the entries that existed before installation of UR8 will continue to exist.
    • Issue 7
      In a deployment with virtualized Fiber Channel adapters, VMM does not update the SMI-S storage provider, and it throws an exception.
    • Issue 8
      For VMs with VHDs that are put on a Scale out File Server (SOFS) over SMB, the Disk Read Speed VM performance counter incorrectly displays zero in the VMM Admin Console. This prevents an enterprise from monitoring its top IOPS consumers.
    • Issue 9
      Dynamic Optimization fails, leaks a transaction, and prevents other jobs from executing. It is blocked on the SQL Server computer until SCVMM is recycled or the offending SPID in SQL is killed.
    • Issue 10
      V2V conversion fails when you try to migrate VMs from ESX host to Hyper-V host if the hard disk size of the VM on the ESX host is very large.
    • Issue 11
      Live migration of VMs in an HNV network takes longer than expected. You may also find pings to the migrating VM are lost. This is because during the live migration, the WNV Policy table is transferred (instead of only delta). Therefore, if the WNV Policy table is too long, the transfer is delayed and may cause VMs to lose connectivity on the new host.
    • Issue 12
      VMM obtains a wrong MAC address while generating the HNV policy in the deployments where F5 Load Balancers are used.
    • Issue 13
      For IBM SVC devices, enabling replication fails in VMM because there is a limitation in SVC in which the name of the consistency group should start with an alphabetical character (error code: 36900). This issue occurs because while enabling replication, VMM generates random strings for naming the “consistency groups” and “relationship” between the source and the target, and these contain alphanumeric characters. Therefore, the first character that’s generated by VMM may be a number, and this breaks the requirement by IBM SVC.
    • Issue 14
      In Update Rollup 6, we included a change that lets customers have a static MAC address even if the network adapter is not connected. This fix did not cover all scenarios correctly, and it triggers an exception when there’s a template with a connected network adapter, and then you later try to edit the static address in order to disconnect the network adapter.
    • Issue 15
      Post Update Rollup 6, as soon as a host goes into legacy mode, it does not come back to eventing for 20 days. Therefore, the VM properties are not refreshed, and no events are received from HyperV for 20 days.This issue occurs because of a change that’s included in UR6 that set the expiry as 20 days for both eventing mode and legacy mode. The legacy refresher, which should ideally run after 2 minutes, now runs after 20 days; and until then, eventing is disabled.Workaround:
      To work around this issue, manually run the legacy refresher by refreshing VM properties.
    • Issue 16
      Post-UR7, deleting a virtual network does not correctly clean up the cluster resources for the Network Virtualization Gateway. This causes the cluster role (cluster group) to go into a failed state when a failover of the HNV gateway cluster role occurs.
  • Windows Azure Pack (KB3096392)
    • Administrators cannot offer and tenants cannot use multiple external IP addresses through a Network Address Translation (NAT) connection.
      Even though Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) has functionality to allocate IP addresses for this purpose, the WAP administrator and tenant experiences do not provide such functionality. Administrators can now allocate a set of external IP addresses for tenants to use when you create NAT rules. The administrator can set up the IP address quota through the Administrator Portal virtual machine (VM) extension.
    • Tenants can create only one checkpoint per virtual machine.
      Administrators can create plans that include quotas that let tenants create multiple VM checkpoints.
    • An unexpected exception is generated by the PowerShell command “Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase.”
      The command Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase does not retrieve SQL database information. The following examples return exception “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”:

      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId “someid” -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId $hostserver.ServerId -Name “somename” -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId ” someserverid” -Name “datatest” -DisableCertificateValidation
    • An unexpected exception is generated by the PowerShell command “Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer.” 
      This command fails with the exception “Index (zero-based) must be greater than or equal to zero and less than the size of the argument list” when you run statements such as the following:

      • Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId $HostServer[0].ServerId -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId “someserverid” -DisableCertificateValidation
    • When you create a virtual machine through the Tenant Portal, the menu dropdown boxes are not sorted.
      When a tenant tries to create a VM and the list of items is larger than some items, it becomes very difficult to find the necessary machine image or template.
    • Attaching ISOs in a generation 2 (gen 2) VM fails after three or four attach or detach operations.
      The attach and detach operations on ISO disks and VM gen 2 allocate adapters never releases the adapters for reuse.After you apply this update, detaching the disk adapter enables the adapter to be reused again.

This Update Rollup is one of the bigger one Microsoft released in terms of Azure Pack IaaS Scenarios. This update brings several great improvements to the implementation of Checkpoints and Network Virtualization. Update Rollup 8 finally bringing end to end support for multiple external IP Addresses for the NVGRE Gateways inside WAP as well as VMM. Also better support for Checkpoints on Hyper-V in the WAP Portal as well as VMM.

As always, before you deploy an update rollup in production, make sure, you have tested it in your test or lab environment.



System Center Logo

Summary: Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Last week Microsoft released Update Rollup 7 (UR7) for System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. And as always, Update Rollup 7 does not only include a bunch of fixes, it also includes some new features. This time especially Windows Azure Pack and System Center Virtual Machine Manager got some nice updates. Components that are fixed and updated in this update rollup

  • Data Protection Manager (3065246)
    • Support for Windows 10 Client operating system
    • Ability to use an alternative DPM server to recover from Azure Backup Vault
    • Improvements for backup on Hyper-V Replica VMs
    • Other improvements and fixes…
  • Orchestrator & SMA (3069115)
    • Orchestrator: some small fixes
    • SMA
      • SMA runbook execution fails if a PowerShell execution policy is set to Unrestricted through a Group Policy Object.
      • Fixed an error when you try to save or import a runbook in SMA
  • Operations Manager (will be released later)
    • The rollup is delayed by few weeks, as engineering team is working on recently reported issues.
  • Service Manager (3063263)
  • Service Provider Foundation (3069355)
    • This update includes general API changes to improve product quality.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (3066340)
    • Support for Windows 10 Client Operating System
    • Support for new Linux Operating Systems (Debian 8)
    • Support for VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios (more infos VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios)
    • Support for Multiple External IP Addresses per Virtual Network
    • Option to Reassociate Orphaned virtual machines to their Service or VM role
    • Support for VMM DHCP Extension PXE/TFP Forwarding
    • Some scale improvements if you have more than 50 Hyper-V Hosts
    • Some Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV) fixes and improvements
    • Other fixes…
  • Windows Azure Pack (3069121)
    • Tenants cannot delete the checkpoints of their virtual machines
    • Support for VM names of up to 15 characters
    • Displaying VHD items during virtual machine creation when there are no hardware profiles in the plan
    • Incompatible VHDs are offered to the tenant when attaching a VHD to a virtual machine
    • Support for tenant plan viewing and self-subscription permission based on security groups
    • Support for Shielded Virtual Machine Management when it’s run on Windows Server 2016 Preview
    • Virtual Machine performance data displayed in the tenant portal
    • Other fixes and improvements…
  • Windows Azure Pack Web Sites (3069358)
    • Adds support for IPv6 to IP SSL functionality
    • Changes Web Deploy publishing from publish.domain.com to site.scm.domain.com.
    • Other fixes and improvements…

One of the new features I want to highlight is the possibility to add multiple public (external) IP addresses to  Virtual Network (Using Hyper-V Network Virtualization HVN). This means a tenant can assign multiple public IP addresses on his NAT gateway and do port forwarding, for example if he runs multiple webservers in that VM Network. This is a feature a lot of customers especially service provider have missed for a long time.

Another improvement we can see is the support for the next release of Windows Server and also support for Windows 10.

 



System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6

Summary: Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Microsoft just released System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6, which includes a lot of new features and fixes. With this Update Rollup 6 Microsoft now supports SQL Server 2014 as databases for the System Center and Windows Azure Pack components.

Components that are fixed in this update rollup

  • Data Protection Manager (KB3030574)
    • Option to keep online backup data while deleting a protection group
    • Support for SQL Server 2014 as DPMDB
  • Operations Manager (KB3051169)
  • Service Manager (KB3039363)
  • Service Provider Foundation (KB3050307)
  • Service Reporting (KB3050321)
  • Virtual Machine Manager (KB3050317)
    • Add Azure Subscription feature
    • Improved E2A ASR protection scenario
    • Option to use Generation 2 VMs in Services and VMRoles
    • Total Networking Usage Exposure rules in Management Pack
    • Option to overcommit Cloud and Host Group capacity for Replica VMs
  • Windows Azure Pack (KB3051166)
    • Adds support for Webjobs in Windows Azure Pack Websites.
    • Adds support for Deployment Slots in Windows Azure Pack Websites.
    • Adds support for Virtual Machine Checkpoint.
    • Adds support to maintain Data Consistency between the SQL Resource Provider configured properties for resources with the actual provisioned resources on the SQL Server Hosting server.
    • Compatibility with the next version of Windows Server
    • Fixes several SQL Server Resource Provider issues
  • Windows Azure Pack Web Sites (KB3051142)

I already posted some information on the Update Rollup 6 for Windows Azure Pack and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. I also want to highlight a change which was made in several different components in System Center and Windows Azure Pack. With UR6 you are now able to track Total Networking Usage Exposure rules in Management Pack. This change introduces two rules that target Hyper-V Hosts:

  • Total Incoming VNic Network traffic collection rule
  • Total Outgoing VNic Network traffic collection rule

These rules measure the total incoming and total outgoing traffic in Kilo Bytes per VNic per virtual machine in the following method:

For each VM:

  1. Enable Hyper-V Metering if it is not enabled.
  2. Run Measure-VM.
  3. Collect metering data for every remote address of “0.0.0.0/0” or “::/0” per VNic.

By default, these rules run every hour. Users may opt to override this setting by overriding the IntervalSeconds property. These rules should not be run more frequently than every five minutes (300 seconds).

Behavior in previous versions: VMM did not measure data consumption. It measured only throughput.