Tag: System Center 2012 R2

Scale Windows Server Storage Spaces

System Center Operations Manager Management Pack for Windows Server Storage Spaces

Microsoft just released the System Center Operations Manager Management Pack for Windows Server Storage Spaces 2012 R2 to the public. This allows you to monitor your Storage Spaces deployments with Operations Manager.

You can download the Management Pack for Storage Spaces from the Microsoft Download Site.

Monitoring Scenarios

This Management Pack contains rules to monitor physical disk and enclosure state in storage spaces.
Health is calculated by the storage service and is passed to Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) using the Storage Management API (SM-API), and is in turn passed to Operations Manager (OM) through the OM connector for VMM.

Supported Configurations

This management pack requires System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1 or later. A dedicated Operations Manager management group is not required.

The following table details the supported configurations for the Management Pack for Storage Spaces:

Configuration Support
Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 4 or later installed
Windows Server File Servers 2012 R2 with KB 3000850 (November 2014 update rollup) or later
Clustered servers Yes

Management Pack Scope

This management pack supports up to:

  • 16 Storage Nodes
  • 12 Storage Pools
  • 120 File Shares

Prerequisites

The following requirements must be met to run this management pack:

  • Operations Manager Connector for Virtual Machine Manager installed and configured.
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh427287.aspx
  • Configuring this connection will install the required VMM Management Packs.
  • Storage Spaces managed by Virtual Machine Manager
  • KB2913766 “Hotfix improves storage enclosure management for Storage Spaces” must be installed on the VMM server and file server nodes


VMM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6 Azure IaaS Management

Generation 2 Virtual Machine in Service Templates and Managing Azure IaaS VMs in VMM with UR6

Microsoft just announced System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Update Rollup 6 with some highly requested features. Two of them are support for VMM Service Templates with Generation 2 Virtual Machines and managing Microsoft Azure IaaS Virtual Machines directly from the Virtual Machine Manager Console.

If you want to know more checkout that video:



NIC Teaming

Overview on Windows Server and Hyper-V 2012 R2 NIC Teaming and SMB Multichannel

I know this is nothing new but since I had to mention the Whitepaper on NIC Teaming and the use of SMB Multichannel as well as the configuration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager in a couple of meetings I want to make sure you have an overview on my blog. Here is a no overview of Windows Server and Hyper-V NIC teaming and SMB Multichannel, to get redundant network configurations.

NIC Teaming

Windows Server NIC Teaming was introduced in Windows Server 2012 (Codename Windows Server 8). NIC teaming, also known as Load Balancing/Failover (LBFO), allows multiple network adapters to be placed into a team for the purposes of bandwidth aggregation, and/or traffic failover to maintain connectivity in the event of a network component failure.

NIC Teaming Recommendation

For designing, the default and recommended configuration is using NIC Teaming with Switch Independent and Dynamic, and in some scenarios where you have the write switches you can use LACP and Dynamic.

Download Windows Server 2012 R2 NIC Teaming (LBFO) Deployment and Management Whitepaper

This guide describes how to deploy and manage NIC Teaming with Windows Server 2012 R2.

You can find the Whitepaper on Windows Server 2012 R2 NIC Teaming (LBFO) Deployment and Management in the Microsoft Download Center.

SMB Multichannel

Hyper-V over SMB Multichannel

If you use Hyper-V over SMB, you can use SMB Multichannel as an even better mode to distribute SMB 3.0 traffic across different network adapters, or you could use a mix of both, NIC Teaming and SMB Multichannel. Check out my blog post about Hyper-V over SMB: SMB Multichannel, SMB Direct (RDMA) and Scale-Out File Server and Storage Spaces.

Configuration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager

Logical Switch

Some months back, I also wrote some blog post about configuration of Hyper-V Converged Networking and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. This guide will help you to understand how you deploy NIC Teaming with System Center Virtual Machine Manager using the Logical Switch on Hyper-V hosts.



System Center Logo

System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack get supports for SQL Server 2014 in Update Rollup 5

Microsoft just released System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 5, which includes a lot of new features and fixes. The update also brings support for SQL Server 2014 as a database server for most of the System Center 2012 R2 components. There will be support for the rest of the System Center components in the Update Rollup 6.

Supports SQL 2014 now:

Operations Manager
System Center Orchestrator
Service Management Automation
Service Provider Foundation
Virtual Machine Manager
Windows Azure Pack

Will support SQL 2014 in UR6:

Service Reporting
Service Manager
Data Protection Manager

For information check out the Microsoft System Center Team Blog.

 



Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2

Summary: Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Yesterday Microsoft released a new Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack called Update Rollup 5. Update Rollup 5 has a lot of fixes and new features especially for Windows Azure Pack and System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager.

Components that are fixed in this update rollup

  • Data Protection Manager (KB3021791)
    • Protect SharePoint with SQL Always on Configuration
    • Protect SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, and Windows Client workloads to Microsoft Azure by using Data Protection Manager
    • Support for multiple retention ranges for long-term backup on Microsoft Azure
    • Ability to transfer initial backup copy offline to Azure
    • Support for protecting Microsoft workloads that are hosted in VMware
    • Display missed SLA alerts on the Data Protection Manager console
    • Enhanced reporting with Data Protection Manager central console
  • Operations Manager (KB3023138)
  • Service Manager (KB3009517)
  • Virtual Machine Manager (KB3023195)
    • Differencing disk as an option in the Windows Azure Pack VMRole deployment
    • New operating system support
    • New ExplicitRevokeRequired parameter to control IP address management when Grant-SCIPAddress is used
    • Support for SQL Server 2014
    • Azure Site Recovery
  • Windows Azure Pack (KB3023209)
    • Adds support for SQL Governor in the SQL Server Resource Provider.
    • Adds administrator support for disabling native Network RP to allow for third-party network provider
    • Provides detail on Virtual Machine Memory type, Memory Startup and Maximum values in the Tenant Portal.
    • Fix to the Get-MgmtSvcRelyingPartySettings PowerShell cmdlet.
    • Fix to the issue of failing to establish Remote Desktop Connection to virtual machines put behind a Network Address Translation (NAT) device.
    • Fix to the Attached Network dialog box where the network entries in the list were disabled.

As you can see you get several new feature with Update Rollup 5. In Data Protection Manager you finally get support for SharePoint, Exchange and Windows Client workload protection to Microsoft Azure, and support for workloads running on VMware infrastructure. Virtual Machines Manager not only brings new features such as support for the Virtual Machine Manager Database to run on SQL Server 2014 it also includes a lot of fixes and a security update (3035898
MS15-017: Vulnerability in Virtual Machine Manager could allow elevation of privilege: February 10, 2015). Some of the most interesting fixes for me are:

  • DHCP extension: Currently, users have to manually update the DHCP extension after update rollup installation on all hosts. This is now automated. After the DHCP extension is replaced in the Virtual Machine Manager server’s installation folder to the latest version, Virtual Machine Manager automatically checks the DHCP extension against all hosts. If the host has an older version of DHCP extensions, the agent version status will be displayed as “DHCP extension needs to be updated in host properties on the Status page.” The user calls the update agent and updates the DHCP extension on the Hyper-V host in the same way that the user did this for the Virtual Machine Manager agent. Also, if the VSwitch is a logical switch, the status will be shown in “logical switch compliance.” The user can remediate the logical switch. This will also update the DHCP extension on the host.
  • Bare-Metal Deployment: If a physical computer profile is created by using vNic (and by using a virtual machine network) and if there are more than one hostgroup for a logical network that also has that virtual machine network when you add a host resource on the “Provisioning Options” page, the host profile will be displayed for only one host group. The profile won’t be displayed for the rest of the host groups.

For Windows Azure Pack also includes some important fixes and improvements on of the is in the Tenant Portal, users can now see details on Virtual Machine Memory type, Memory Startup and Maximum values.

Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 brings a lot of new features and important fixes to the table, however before deploying the fixes in your production environment, I recommend to test the Update Rollup and maybe wait for some reports about issues from other users.



DPM Deduplication

Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager

Today Microsoft announced support for Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM). To use Deduplication together with System Center Data Protection Manager you have to meet the following criteria:

  • The Server running System Center Data Protection Manager must be virtualized.
  • DPM Server has to use Windows Sevrer 2012 R2
  • The Hyper-V Sever where the DPM VM is running on has to be Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center Data Protection Manager must be version 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 4 (UR4) or higher.
  • The Data Storage of the DPM Server must be VHDX Files attached to the DPM VM.
  • DPM VHDX files need to be 1TB of size.
  • The VHDX files of the DPM Server must be stored on a Scale-Out File Server Cluster using SMB 3.0
  • All the Windows File Server nodes on which DPM virtual hard disks reside and on which deduplication will be enabled must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update Rollup November 2014.
  • Deduplication is enabled on the CSV of the Scale-Out File Server
  • It is recommended to use Storage Spaces but it is not required
  • Use Parity Storage Spaces with enclosure-awareness for resiliency and increased disk utilization.
  • Format NTFS with 64 KB allocation units and large file record segments to work better with dedup use of sparse files.
  • In the hardware configuration above the recommended volume size is 7.2TB volumes.
  • Plan and set up DPM and deduplication scheduling
  • Tune the File Server Cluster for DPM Storage

DPM Deduplication

The combination of deduplication and DPM provides substantial space savings. This allows higher retention rates, more frequent backups, and better TCO for the DPM deployment. The guidance and recommendations in this document should provide you with the tools and knowledge to configure deduplication for DPM storage and see the benefits for yourself in your own deployment.

To get more information checkout the following TechNet Article: Deduplicating DPM storage

 



System Center Logo

Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Microsoft today released Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2. Update Rollup 4 (UR4) fix some issues and new features in the System Center components as well as Windows Azure Pack.

Components that are fixed in this update rollup

Especially Virtual Machines Manager includes a lot of fixes and DPM also brings beside fixes some interesting new features such as support for SQL Server 2014. In Azure Pack Microsoft added now the possibility to use Azure Site Recovery Manager into plans for DC Failovers via Hyper-V Replica.