Tag: Dynamic Memory

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: Smart Paging

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

If you have installed the Windows Server 8 Beta or the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate and have tested the new version of Hyper-V, you may have seen a new feature in the Hyper-V Manager Console called Smart Paging.

What is Smart Paging and what does it do. To understand what Smart Paging is we have to go back in time, to the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. In Service Pack 1 Microsoft added a new feature to Hyper-V called Dynamic Memory. Dynamic Memory allows to dynamically add and remove virtual memory from a Virtual Machine depending on memory demand of the VM. You can set the start up memory and the maximum memory

Hyper-V Dynamic Memory

Now in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft improved the Dynamic Memory feature and also added a third option the minimum memory.

  • Startup RAM – Memory during the startup process until the Dynamic Memory driver is started.
  • Minimum RAM – the minimum of RAM a VM can get.
  • Maximum RAM – the maximum of RAM a VM can get.

For example the VM needs 1GB of RAM to start all service properly, and after the start the memory demand can go down to 512MB you would set the Startup RAM to 1GB and the Minimum RAM to 512MB.

Hyper-V Smart Paging

Now with the new Minimum RAM setting there is a new problem, if the VM is running with a minimum of RAM and for example 512MB and all other memory resources of the host are used by other Virtual Machines and you restart the VM, the VM can maybe not get the full 1GB of startup memory. In this case, and this is the only case, Smart Paging is used to allocate the additional 512MB of RAM in a page file outside the Virtual Machine so all services can start properly.

 

 



Windows Server 2012: Doing multiple configuration changes on Hyper-V VMs via PowerShell

Windows Server 8

Over the weekend I was Setting up my lab for the RTM of System Center 2012. I created some Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtual Machines on my Windows Server 2012 beta Hyper-V server. After I had created all VMs and installed them, I realized I forgot to configure the limit for Dynamic Memory for the Hyper-V Virtual Machines.

Now here the new PowerShell module for Hyper-V which comes with Windows Server 2012 helped me save some time.

Hyper-V PowerShell

 

First I check the Dynamic Memory Maximum value for all my System Center 2012 Virtual Machines.

After that I changed the value from all my System Center 2012 Virtual Machines to 8GB

btw. if you don’t know that 8GB are 8589934592 Bytes PowerShell can help you, check this out:

Windows Server 2012: Hyper-V PowerShell

Ben Armstrong, Virtualization Program Manager, did also a blog post on performing bulk configuration changes in Hyper-V via Windows PowerShell on his blog.

 



Windows Server 8 Hyper-V Dynamic Memory Enhancements

I could test some features in the new version of Hyper-V which comes with the Windows Server 8 Developer Preview. I did a little overview about the a lot of new features in the new Hyper-V Version: Hyper-V: “Version 3 kills them all”. In this post I will write something about some new things in Hyper-V Dynamic Memory.

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview Hyper-V Memory Settings:

Dynamic Memory Windows Server 8

  • New maximum memory of a Virtual Machine is 512GB
  • You can now change the Dynamic Memory Settings during the VM is running. You don’t need to reboot.
  • You have now three values you can use, Startup RAM, Minimum RAM, Maximum RAM. In Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 you could only setup Startup and Maximum RAM.
  • You can now active Dynamic Memory during the creation of the new Virtual Machine

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V Memory Settings:

Dynamic Memory Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

 

 



Windows 8: Client Hyper-V and boot from VHD

Windows 8 Client Hyper-V

Some days before the BUILD conference, Microsoft released a video about Hyper-V in Windows 8. Now after some days of testing I am already a big fan of the client Hyper-V. It lets me create a perfect lab at work or a development VM and Linux VM’s for KTSI.

It’s a great solution for me. Sure there were other solutions like Virtual PC, Virtual Box and VMware Workstation before, but using the built-in Hyper-V has some advantages which make my life a little easier.

  • PowerShell support – it lets me start up a whole lab environment within seconds. I can really quick import Virtual Machines and start them up. And also do some other cool scripted solutions.
  • Performance – it offers great performance.
  • VHD and VHDX – it’s great to work with one virtual disk format and not have to convert virtual disks. It’s also great together with the boot from VHD feature.
  • Dynamic Memory
  • Remote Management for Hyper-V Servers (like the RSAT)
  • Live Storage Migration – Move a running Virtual Machine from local disk to another local disk, USB or network share and back

Microsoft made also the boot from VHD feature a little simpler.

  1. First Mount the VHD you want to boot. (right click on the VHD and “Mount”)
    mount vhd
  2. Now check the new drive letter of the VHD in my case this is G:
  3. Open the command prompt and type bcdboot G:\windows
    bcdboot
  4. Now your VHD will appear in the boot menu. You can check that by typing bcdedit
  5. and as you can see no sysprep or generalize needed

Here a small list of Hyper-V client features:

  • 32 Virtual CPUs
  • NUMA in VM
  • 512 GB RAM
  • Sleep, Hibernate
  • Management console
  • Manage Hyper-V Server from this console
  • Snapshots
  • Up to 1024 running VM’s
  • VHD, and VHDX (up to 16TB)
  • Dynamic disks, Differencing disks, pass through disks, fixedsize disks
  • 4K sector size
  • DMTF comliant WMI
  • Networking offloads
  • Live Storage Migration
  • Native VHD boot
  • Dynamic Memory
  • Remote Management
  • PowerShell
  • Export snapshots
  • Resource Pools
  • External, Internal and Private Networks
  • Bi-Direction audio
  • Enlightened IDE & SCSI controllers
  • Hyper-V on SMB
  • up to256 virtual drives
  • up to 12 virtual NICs
  • VLAN support
  • 3D Graphics (Software)
  • Mutli Touch
  • USB redirection (with RDP)
  • Wireless NICs
  • Export & Import VMs
  • Hyper-V Extensible Switch
  • VHDX Resiliency

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Home Server 2011
  • Windows SBS 2011
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 8
  • CentOS 5.2-5.6
  • CentOS 6.0
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2-5.6, 6.0, 6.1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, 11

In my opinion Client Hyper-V is a great solution and lab to go for Developers, IT Pros, Testers, Sales people and a lot more.

 



Cisco UCS Hyper-V Cluster – Important Updates for the Hyper-V Cluster – Part 9

Since we have installed our Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster on the Cisco UCS, Microsoft released some patches for Hyper-V, Windows and Clustering.

There are two really important Updates which I would recommend for Hyper-V Clusters.

  • The first is Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Service Pack 1 brings a lot of Hotfixes for Hyper-V, Failover Cluster Feature and other Microsoft Server features. And it brings also a two new features called Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX.
  • The second one is a hotfix for Servers with Intel Westmere or Sandy Bridge and has a large amount of physical memory. Most of the Cisco UCS Blades will meet this configuration. You can get more information on this Hyper-V hotfix here.

This two updates will bring you a much better experience with your Hyper-V Cluster. It will improve performance, stability and it will add new features.



Swiss Technet Event

Today I had the chance to visit Microsoft Switzerland. I visited one of the presentations called “Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – What’s new?”. Speaker of the session was Markus Erlacher (Microsoft IT Consultant). As always Microsoft does a great job by host events like this.

I really recommend you to visit one of the next events (you can find them on the swiss TechNet Homepage). The will host this session “Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – What’s new?” again in november.

So what is new in Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1? Basically there are alot of hotfixes and two main things in Windows Server 2008 R2.