Category: Microsoft Azure

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

Microsoft just updated the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster which shows the new Architecture of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate.

This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012. This Hyper-V poster focuses on Hyper-V Replica, networking, virtual machine mobility (live migration), storage, failover clustering, and scalability.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster

 



System Center 2012 Unified Installer – Step by Step – Part 2

Microsoft System Center Logo

In my first post about the System Center 2012 Unified Installer I wrote about the prerequisites you need, to do a System Center 2012 deployment with the Unified Installer. In the second part I will write how you have to prepare the Installer and the Target servers.

It’s still important: Neither the System Center Unified Installer nor this guide is made to deploy the System Center Suite in production. It is only for lab or demo environments.

In my case I created two OUs to deploy my small lab. One for the Installer Computer and one for all the System Center servers. And I created some GPOs to save some time.

SC2012 InstallerSC2012 ServersSC2012 Servers GPO

 

Preparing the Installer Computer for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer

  1. First I installed a Server with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the installer Computer and installed all the patches which came with Windows Updates.
  2. Now you have to do some configuration of WinRM. You can do this via Group Policy or CMD commands.
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials (Enabled with the value: “WSMAN/*” and Concatenate OS defaults with input above selected)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials with NTLM-only Server Authentication (Enabled with the value: “WSMAN/*” and Concatenate OS defaults with input above selected)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WRM) / WinRm Client / Allow CredSSP authentication (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WRM) / WinRm Client / Trusted Hosts (Enabled with a * in the TrustedHostsList option)
    SC2012 Installer GPO
  3. You could also run the following comands
    winrm set winrm/config/client/auth @{CredSSP="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts="*"}
    winrm qc
  4. Now you you have to open some Firewall ports, you can do this also via Group Policy or in the local Windows Firewall settings.
    Create a new Inbound role for the following ports:
    TCP 81
    TCP 1433
    UDP 1434
    ICMP v4
    Because it is a demo or lab Environment you could also disable the Firewall

On the User’s Guide for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer you can get more Information how you can prepare the Installer Computer.

Preparing a Target Servers for System Center 2012 Components

  1. First I installed a Server with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the installer Computer and installed all the patches which came with Windows Updates.
  2. Like for the Installer Computer we also have to create some GPOs for the Target Servers.
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow automatic configuration of listeners (Enabled and the for the values of IPv4 filter and IPv6 filter type *)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow CredSSP authentication (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Allow Remote Shell Access (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Specify maximum amount of memory in MB per Shell (Enabled and set MaxMemoryPerShellMB to 2048)
    SC2012 SC Servers GPOYou could also run the following commands on the target servers.

    winrm qc -q
    winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{CredSSP="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{AllowRemoteShellAccess="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{MaxMemoryPerShellMB="2048"}

Create Installer User and Service Users

SC2012 Service Accounts

 

I also created a Service Users for every System Center product, you could also just use the same user account for all products.

  • svc-sc2012-scvmm
  • svc-sc2012-scac
  • svc-sc2012-sco
  • svc-sc2012-scom
  • svc-sc2012-sccm
  • svc-sc2012-scsm
  • svc-sc2012-scdpm

SC2012 Installer Account

 

And I created a Installer User which has local Administrator rights on every machine. You also have to login to your Installer Computer and run the System Center Unified Installer with this account.

  • sc2012-installer

This was the last preperation post, in the next post the “Fun” Begins and we can fire up the System Center 2012 – Unified Installer



System Center 2012 Unified Installer – Step by Step – Part 1

Microsoft System Center Logo

With System Center 2012 Microsoft released another tool called System Center Unified Installer. The System Center Unified Installer is design to do an automated installation of all the System Center 2012 products in Demo or Lab environments. It is not designed to install System Center 2012 in productive environments, because most of the time you have to work on the existing infrastructure and you change things on productive systems which you should do manually and check if they work as expected.

But it is a good tool to deploy System Center for demos, testing and proof of concepts. Because it can install all System Center 2012 components in less than three hours fully automated. Still you have to do some preparation of the environment and your target servers.

System Center Unified Installer Process

 

In this series of posts I will show you how you can deploy System Center with the System Center Unified Installer with less effort as possible.

In part one of this blog series the focus will be the pre-requirements and the sources for a deployment with System Center Unified Installer.

  1. Download the System Center 2012 Suite. If you don’t have a license yet you can download the Private Cloud Evaluation Software.
  2. Download the following Prerequisites
    Prerequisite For
    Microsoft .NET Framework 4 SCAC
    SCCM
    SCDPM
    SCOM
    SCO
    Report Viewer Redistributable 2008 SCOM
    SCSM
    Report Viewer Redistributable 2010 SCOM
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SCAC
    SCCM
    SCDPM
    SCOM
    SCO
    SCSM
    SCVMM
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client SCVMM
    SCAC
    Windows Automated Installation Kit SCVMM
    SCAC
    Microsoft Analysis Management Objects SCSM
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Command Line Utilities SCVMM
    SCAC
    SP1 for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SCCM
    Cumulative Update Package 4 for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 SCCM
  3. Now as the last step you have to unpack System Center 2012 and the prerequisites to your installer Computer. I created a Source Folder with the subfolders SC2012 for all the System Center Products and a subfolder Prereq for all the Prerequisites.
    System Center Unified Installer 2012System Center Unified Installer 2012System Center Unified Installer 2012So of the downloads you have to uncompressed using the command <filename>.exe /x:C:\Source\Prereq\<software>
    For example:
    – SQL Server 2008 R2
    – SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
    – SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU4
    – System Center App Controller

Now this was step one of the preperation. In the next part I will write about how you have to setup the Installer and the Target servers.

Links for the Unified Installer:

 



The new SkyDrive rocks…

Microsoft SkyDrive

Today Microsoft released some new SkyDrive Apps for Windows and Mac and alos offers 25GB of free online storage. I really love SkyDrive to keep my files in sync and access them everywhere. With the new apps the integration is much better, easier and 25GB of free storage is a fair deal.

Making personal cloud storage for Windows available anywhere, with the new SkyDrive

With the new Apps, SkyDrive is integrated in your operating system. If you need some online Storage, Cloud Sync or you are already using a service like Dropbox or GDrive you should have a closer look at Microsoft SkyDrive.

SkyDrive Explorer

 

New features:

  • SkyDrive for the Windows desktop (preview available now). View and manage your personal SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer on Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with this new preview app available in 106 languages worldwide.
  • Fetching files through SkyDrive.com. Easily access, browse, and stream files from a remote PC running the preview app to just about anywhere by simply fetching them via SkyDrive.com.
  • SkyDrive storage updates. A new, more flexible approach to personal cloud storage that allows power users to get additional paid storage as their needs grow.
  • SkyDrive for other devices. We’ve updated the SkyDrive apps on Windows Phone and iOS devices, bringing better management features and sharing options to those devices. We’re also releasing a new preview client for Mac OS X Lion, letting you manage your SkyDrive right from the Finder.

 

Checkout more about SkyDrive



News from MMS 2012

Yesterday there was the first Keynote at MMS2012 (Microsoft Management Summit). Microsoft made some really amazing announcements.

Microsoft System Center Logo

First Microsoft announced the General Global Availability (RTM) of System Center 2012. You can now download it here: http://aka.ms/syscntr

Windows Server 8

 

Second Microsoft announced the new Name of the next Server Version with the Codename Windows Server 8. It is Windows Server 2012. You can get the beta Version of Windows Server 2012 here: http://aka.ms/win8server

Windows 8 Logo

 

Microsoft also announced on the Windows Blog which Version will of Windows 8 will be available. There will be 4 Versions:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows RT
  • Windows Enterprise

You can check out more on the Windows Blog.

Yesterday Microsoft also released the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012. You can get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=25175&WT.mc_id=rss_windows_allproducts

Ah and by the way HALO4 is comming!

Thanks to John Weston for  getting all the Information together.



News from Tad (VMLimited)

Remember Tad (Salesman) from VMLimited? Microsoft just released a new Video about him ;-)

More on http://www.vm-limited.com/



Windows Server 2012: Enable CSV Cache

Windows Server 8

In Windows Server 8 beta (Windows Server 2012 beta), Microsoft released a lot of new features for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). One of them is CSV Cache. CSV Cache gives you the possibility to allocate system memory (RAM) of the cluster nodes as cache. This can improve the performance of read requests in workloads like Hyper-V.

Now to enable the CSV Cache on a cluster you have to do this with Windows PowerShell.

  1. First open the PowerShell prompt
  2. Set the size of the CSV Cache. The default it 512MB. With this command you will reserve the Memory on all Cluster nodes for caching.
    (Get-Cluster). SharedVolumeBlockCacheSizeInMB = 512
  3. Now you have to enable the Cache on on the Cluster Shared Volumes you want to use.
    Get-ClusterSharedVolume “Cluster Disk 1| Set-ClusterParameter  CsvEnableBlockCache 1

Here you can find a Windows Server 2012: CSV Cache Benchmark

If you want to know more about CSV Cache, you can read this blog post from Elden Christensen on the Failover Clustering and Network Load Balancing Team Blog.



Microsoft Cloud for SMB

MicrosoftCloudforSMB

Last year I did a little research project about Microsoft’s public cloud and how it cloud affect Small and Medium sized businesses. So I created a paper which should help Microsoft partners to decide how they can improve their services and solutions by using the Microsoft public cloud. I the paper I focused on Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune. This should be for the partner which do infrastructure solutions like Active Directory, Exchange and PC Management.

MicrosoftCloudforSMBdoc

You can download this paper from my Windows Live SkyDrive.
The paper includes a lot of text copied from Microsoft documents and websites, and research I did by myself. All the sources should be marked, but if you find anything which is not marked please feel free to contact me.



Cisco UCS C200 M2 – Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC)

 

Cisco-new-logo-should-be2-e1303030685744

The first things I tried with the new Cisco UCS C200 M2 servers was the CIMC (Cisco Integrated Management Controller). CIMC is the remote out-of-band management solution (IPMI) provided with Cisco servers, it’s basically the same like HP iLO or Dell DRAC.

One of the biggest advantages is that CIMC is included for free, so there is no extra license you need for extra features like KVM or stuff like that.

After working some hours with the CIMC I was really happy, no problems at all everything worked as expected. From the design it’s like the Cisco UCS Manager but better ;-). I think it is much easier to use and much faster (it’s not Java).

Keyfeatures

  • Web based front-end
  • KVM and Virtual media
  • Change BIOS Settings
  • Active Directory connector
  • SNMP
  • IPMI (Very interesting with the Bare-metal deployment in SCVMM 2012)
  • SSH
  • Health Monitoring

CIMC01



Building a new Hyper-V Private Cloud Lab

Two years ago I created my first real IT Lab with some HP ProLiant ML110 G5. I used this in the past years to test new products and projects. The Lab at this time was very limited, no storage, no cluster, not much RAM and weak CPU performance. Not much help if you work a lot with Hyper-V Clusters and System Center products.

I was looking around for some time now to find a cheap offer for new servers. In the last week I found a offer from Cisco with c200 M2 servers and I couldn’t resist to buy two of the for my Hyper-V Cluster nodes. The offer was a special deal which was even cheaper than building the servers by my own, at this point thanks to my former employer Atlantis Informatik AG.

Now what I will do is creating a new Hyper-V Cluster friendly environment with two Cisco C200 M2 Hyper-V nodes, one HP ML110 G5 as Storage Server and one of my old HP ML110 G5 servers as Hyper-V Server which all my Management servers and Active Directory will run on.

Lab Overview

If you want to know more about Hardware you can use for a Hyper-V Lab I recommend the posts of Carsten Rachfahl on hyper-v-server.de (german).

Hardware Configuration

Hyper-V nodes:

cisco c200 m2

2x Cisco C200 M2 – Intel Xeon 5620 2.4GHz Quad Core, 16GB RAM, Remote Management, IPMI, 6 Networkports

Storage Server:

ml110g5

1x HP ProLiant ML110 G5 – Intel Xeon E3110 3.0 GHz Dual Core, 8GB RAM, 4x 500GB Raid 10, 3 Networkports

Management Hyper-V node:

ml110g5

1x HP ProLiant ML110 G5 – Intel Xeon E3110 3.0 GHz Dual Core, 8GB RAM