Tag: Windows Server 2008 R2

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Windows Server

Recommend Hotfixes and Updates for Hyper-V and Failover Clusters

I the last couple of releases I always posted the pages where you could get the list of Recommended Hotfixes and Updates for Windows Server 2012 Failover Clusters and List of Hyper-V and Failover Cluster Hotfixes for Windows Server 2012. I want to upgrade the post with the links for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. So you can find all updates from a single site.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2008 R2

Feel free to share this page and I always recommend to get the latest hotfixes when you are deploying a new Hyper-V or Scale-Out File Server environment. And definitely check also Aidan Finns blog from time to time where he does some deeper look at the Knowledge Base articles for Hyper-V.


Migrate Hyper-V Cluster to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V via Cluster Migration Wizard

Windows Server 2012 Logo

If you have already an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster and you want to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 you have two options. The first one is by moving all virtual machines via System Center Virtual Machine Manager from the old Cluster into a new cluster. The second way to do it, is to use the Cluster Migration Wizard which is part of Windows Server 2012.

In my case I have two clusters one “old” Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster and my new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V cluster. Both Clusters are fully configured and both have access to the same disks/LUNs. The disk and all the VMs are running on the old cluster.

On the new cluster you can start the Cluster Migration Wizard.

Failover Cluster Manager Migrate Roles

This will bring up the Cluster Migration Wizard. The wizard will ask you about the old cluster.

Cluster Migration Wizard Old Cluster

The Cluster Migration Wizard will scan the old cluster for CSVs and Cluster roles. You have to select the Cluster Shared Volume you want to migrate to the new cluster. Note: you can only migrate CSVs including all virtual machines running on this CSV and not just single virtual machines. If you want to migrate single virtual machines you could do a Hyper-V Export/Import or using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Cluster Migration Wizard Old Cluster Roles

Since the Cluster Migration Wizard detects the roles as Hyper-V virtual machines he also asks for the new Hyper-V Virtual Switch.

Cluster Migration Wizard Hyper-V Virtual Switch

You get a quick summary with all the information what the Migration Wizard will do, and you can migrate all roles. This means the Migration Wizard will create all cluster roles on the new cluster but will not take the existing VMs offline the VMs at this point are still running on the old cluster. You also get a Failover Cluster Migration Report at the end.

Failover Cluster Migration Report

This report also shows you what’s next:

All the clustered services and applications selected for migration were migrated successfully. You may now take the clustered services and applications offline in your old cluster. Also take offline Cluster Shared Volumes used by any migrated roles, as well as storage pools for virtual disks used by any migrated roles. Then these disks, Cluster Shared Volumes, and clustered services and applications can be brought online in your new cluster.

In the new cluster you can now see the roles which are all turned of because there are still running on the old cluster. And you can also see the CSV which is offline on the new cluster and online on the old cluster.

Failover Cluster Migration new roles

As already mentioned we had no downtime until now. Now you can go and shutdown all the virtual machines running on your old cluster and take the migrated CSV offline.

Failover Cluster Migration shutdown VMS

Take the CSV offline

Failover Cluster Migration take CSV offline

On the new cluster bring the CSV online

Failover Cluster Migration bring CSV online

Bring the virtual machines on the new cluster back online.

Failover Cluster Migration bring VMs back online

And this is more how you can migrate a cluster. Remember there are still some tasks left.

There is also a great video from Symon Perriman and Rob Hindman, a Program Manager on the Windows Server Clustering & High-Availability team, in which they explain how you can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.


Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App

I know for a lot of people this is not something new, but in the courses I presented in the past weeks I always mentioned this great Windows 8 App called Server Posterpedia.

Server PosterPedia

Server Posterpedia is an interactive app that uses technical posters as a reference for  understanding Microsoft technologies. This app includes all the reference posters from different Microsoft Server Technologies such as Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Exchange or Windows Azure. The great thing about this App, you can not only checkout the different posters and zoom in, if you click on a specific topic for you get directly linked to the right TechNet article. This can help find some TechNet references really easy and fast.
You can get Server Posterpedia for free in the Windows Store: Server Posterpedia

How to make an existing Hyper-V Virtual Machine Highly Available

Windows Server 2012 Logo

If you have a running Hyper-V Virtual Machine with is not part of a cluster you can make this virtual machine highly available via the Failover Cluster Manager. First of all the Virtual Machine has to be stored on a shared storage. In Windows Server 2008 R2 this means the Virtual Machine and the attached Virtual Disks had to be stored on a Cluster Shared Volume (C:\ClusterStorage\…), with Windows Server 2012 the VM could also be stored on a SMB 3.0 file share.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Make Virtual Machine Highly Available

And there is also a big difference in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. In Windows Server 2008 R2 the Virtual Machine had to be offline during you add the VM to the Cluster, and in Windows Server 2012 you can do this online.

First open the Failover Cluster Manager and right click on your Cluster Name in the menu select “Configure Role”

Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster Manager Configure Role

This started the High Availability Wizard. First select the role you want to make high available, in the Hyper-V case this is “Virtual Machine”.

Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster Manager High Availability Wizard

Now select the Virtual Machine you want to add to the cluster. Note: In Windows Server 2012 the Virtual Machine can be online, in Windows Server 2008 R2 the Virtual Machine had to be offline.

Select Virtual MachineAfter clicking next on the wizard, you the VMs will be added to the Failover Cluster.

Btw. thanks to Philipp Witschi (itnetx), who I now owe a dinner.


SCVMM 2012 Hyper-V Bare-Metal Deployment on Cisco UCS C200

System Center Logo

System Center Virtual Machine Manager brings a cool new feature called Bare Metal Deployment. This feature allows deploying new Hyper-V hosts via Out-of-Band Management (IPMI or SMASH) with the Virtual Machine Manager. In my lab environment I use Cisco UCS C200 M2 servers as my Hyper-V servers but this guide will also work with servers from other vendors such as HP, IBM or Dell.

Deployment Process


  1. SCVMM boots up Bare-Metal Server via OBM
  2. Send PXE Boot requests
  3. WDS asks SCVMM for authorize PXE boot
  4. SCVMM approves
  5. Boot Windows PE
  6. Run pre GCE scripts to configure Raid and other settings
  7. Copy the VHD from VMM Library
  8. Get drivers
  9. Run post GCE scripts to do additional configurations
  10. Doing post configuration
  11. Domain join
  12. Adding server to the resource pool

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Release Candidate

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Back in April Microsoft announced the beta version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator. The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter allows you to migrate your VMware vSphere Virtual Machines to your brand new Microsoft Hyper-V environment.

Today the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Release Candidate is available for testing. The best thing at the RC is the support of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012, but there are also other new capabilities.

New in the Release Candidate

In addition to the capabilities that were delivered as part of the beta release, the MVMC Release Candidate:

  • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts running:
  • Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Release Candidate
  • Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V
  • Configures dynamic memory on the converted virtual machine
  • Supports migration of virtual machines that are hosted on a vSphere cluster
  • Supports migration of virtual machines to a Hyper-V host that is part of a failover cluster
  • Enables Microsoft partners to cobrand the tool so that it incorporates their logos

Check it out on Microsoft Connect: https://connect.microsoft.com/site14/MVMC


Cisco UCS C200 M2 – Microsoft Hyper-V

Cisco UCS C200 M2 Hardware

For my Lab I could buy some Cisco UCS C200 M2 rack servers. Of course I am running Hyper-V on my lab servers to get the most out of it, and I am very happy with the performance of the Cisco UCS standalone servers.

C200 BIOS Settings


But still I did some changes in the BIOS settings to get some more performance.

Processor Configuration:

  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology: enabled
  • Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology: enabled
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology: enabled
  • Number of Enabled Cores: All
  • Execute Disable: Enabled
  • Intel Virtualization Technology: enabled
  • Intel VT for Directed IO: enabled
  • Intel VT-d Interrupt Remapping: enabled
  • Intel VT-D Coherency Support: enabled
  • Intel VT-d Address Translation Services: enabled
  • Intel VT-d PassThrough DMA: enabled
  • Direct Cache Access: enabled
  • Processor C3 Report: disabled
  • Processor C6 Report: disabled
  • CPU Performance: High Throughput
  • Hardware Prefetcher: enabled

Memory Configuration:

  • NUMA Optimized: enabled