Tag: Virtual machines

How Microsoft Hyper-V and the Cisco UCS changed our lives

Cisco UCS Hardware

At the end of last year we had our Cisco UCS ordered and in your datacenter. In January we started the testing and made the Clusters ready for the production environment. In February we started the migration of our existing environment, mostly P2V and also some V2V migrations.

Here some interessting facts about our Cisco UCS and Hyper-V project.

  • We use 12 Cisco UCS Blades this is like 10 HE of rackspace
  • We migrated 45 Windows Servers and 47 Unix Servers in just one week
  • We replace 2 racks of server with a half rack of two Cisco UCS Bladecenters
  • We think we can replace 2-3 racks more with our two Bladecenters.
  • At the end of this year we think we could replace 4-5 racks with 1/2 rack
  • We still have a lot of physical and virtual server which will be needed to be migrated to the Bladecenter.
  • We will get even more out of our Blade Servers by activting Hyper-V Dynamic Memory as a new feature of Hyper-V R2 ServicePack 1

This migration had a lot of positive influence on other things in the datacenter.

Datacenter Power

  • we need now 4% less energie overall
  • we need now 6% less cooling overall
  • we need less space (1 and 1/2 racks at the moment)
  • now our system administrator travel 50% less to the datacenter, because of hardware defects or other administrative tasks.
  • We can deploy new servers in minutes instead of hours

I think all of this numbers (except the time we need to deploy new servers )will increase after the next migrations.

Now I started to write a series of blog posts about installing Microsoft Hyper-V R2 on the Cisco UCS system:

Microsoft Hyper-V and the Cisco UCS Bladecenter are a powerful team. The UCS Virtual Hardware takes alot of complexety from the hypervisor in your case Hyper-V. You don’t need NIC teaming and stuff like that. Thats is making it very easy to deploy Hyper-V Clusters. And with the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager you can save a lot of time in managing your clusters, hosts, virtual machine and also in P2V and V2V migrations. Since Microsoft SCVMM supports Windows Powershell you can also do a lot of scripting automation. And with the release of the new Version of SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012) this will even get better for deploying new virtual machines, services and even public and private clouds.

Hyper-V R2 SP1

We started with Microsoft Hyper-V R2 Servers before the release of Service Pack 1. We think we can even get a lot more out of your systems with the new Dynamic Memory feature for Hyper-V which comes in Service Pack 1.

At the end we think choosing the Cisco UCS, Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager for our datacenter was the best choice we have made, in terms of costs and technology.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Licensing Overview


This is a little Overview how you can license Windows Server 2008 R2 in a Hyper-V Environment. One of the biggest advantages  of Hyper-V over VMware are the included Guest OS Licenses. For example if you buy a Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter license (of each CPU of your physical Server) you can deploy unlimited Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Virtual Machines on this Host.

This Overview should help you understand how this works.

License License models Physical Virtual
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation Server License 1 0
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Server + CAL
Processor or SAL
1 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Server + CAL
Processor or SAL
1 4
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Processor + CAL 1 unlimited
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems Processor + CAL 1 unlimited
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 Server License 1 0 (or 1)
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Free 1 0


If you need more infos you can find this here.

Howto: Update SCVMM 2008 to SCVMM 2008 R2

Update from Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 to Micorsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 is pretty simple. Yesterday I updated the SCVMM on our environment.

  1. Copy the SCVMM 2008 R2 on the Server
  2. Start the Setup.exe
  3. Install VMM Server, the installer check that this is an update of an existing installation
  4. System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Update After updating the VMM Server you have to install the new VMM Administrator Console and the new Self-Service Portal if needed.
  5. The installer of the VMM Administrator Console and the VMM Self-Service Portal will first uninstall the old version and then install the new version.
  6. After installing the SCVMM 2008 R2 you have to check for Windows Updates
  7. After a rebooting the SCVMM Server you have to push the new Agent Update to the Virtual Host Servers
  8. Now you are done

Whats new in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2:

  • Support for Live Migration
  • Hot addition/removal of Storage
  • New optimized networking technologies
  • Cluster Shared Volumes
  • SAN migration
  • Expanded Support for iSCSI SANs
  • Storage Migration
  • Rapid Provisioning
  • Support for third party CFS
  • Support for Veritas Volume Manager
  • Added Maintenance Mode
  • Support of disjoint domains
  • Use of defined port groups with VMware Virtual Center
  • Queuing of Live migrations
  • Host Compatibility checks

Tuning a Windows 7 VM

I run several Windows Virtual Machines (VMs) on my Mac with VMware Fusion. Even VMware Fusion has a great performance for Virtual Machines I am really happy about every performance increase I can get. I made a list with some tuning tips. Here is how you are tuning a Windows 7 VM.

  • First use Windows Classic Theme
  • Deactivate System Protection (You also win some Diskspace)
  • Under System Properties –> Advanced –> Performance –> Choose Adjust for best Performance
  • Deactivate Autostart objects with MSCONFIG

There are a lot of more tips out there but I think these are pretty important.