Tag: Windows Server 2012 R2

Server Posterpedia

Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8.1 App just updated

Some days ago Microsoft released some of the new architecture poster for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. Today Microsoft released an update in the Windows App Store for their Server Posterpedia App including the new Hyper-V 2012 R2 posters and some design changes.

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 the Server Posterpedia App in the Windows Store. and you can get some more information about this awesome App on my blog: Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App or on serverposterpedia.com.

EMC – SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

At the moment I am working in a lot of customer cloud deployment projects and the huge topic at the moment are networking and storage. In the networking part there is a lot of talk going on, on “small” things like NIC Teaming and also on bigger topics like Network Virtualization. On the storage part I think a lot of customers are ready to take new approach to save money and get a better solutions. The main parts I talk a lot about is Storage Spaces and Hyper-V over SMB. I already wrote a lot about Hyper-V over SMB, which is not only in my opinion the future of storage. EMC released a solution overview for their EMC VNX and VNXe solution which offer SMB 3.0. EMC calls SMB 3.0 “The Future of Storage”.

SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

SMB 3.0 in Windows 8 clients and Windows 2012 servers is the future of storage protocols. It gives excellent performance with low CPU overhead – plus fault tolerance. Its load balancing/scaling will adjust throughput to available NICs and it also supports simultaneous access by multiple cluster hosts, with build-in arbitration for data consistency. There’s also file-share VSS (RVSS) backup support that facilitates the capture of application-consistent backups on SMB shares. This resiliency, combined with increasing Ethernet speeds, open up the potential for demanding, mission critical workloads such as Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server, to be placed on NAS.

You can read more here: EMC VNX and VNXe with Microsoft SMB 3.0

As I already mentioned I deployed SMB 3.0 and Hyper-V over SMB a couple of times and for me this is absolutely the way to go: No Fiber channel, no more iSCSI. And it’s funny that EMC the owner of VMware is calling SMB 3.0 the Future of Storage. I have to admit the EMC VNX and VNXe solutions on paper look pretty great and it looks like EMC did a great job implementing SMB 3.0. Unfortunately I could not test and VNX or VNXe yet.

EMC SMB 3 the future of Storage

Btw make sure you read my other blog post on SMB 3.0:

Windows 8.1 Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 now available

Microsoft just released Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. You can download Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store or the ISO files for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and of course Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 from MSDN or TechNet.

Microsoft MSDN

Microsoft TechNet

Remember if you were using the RTM Version of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 which was released some weeks ago, you have to deploy some Update Rollups to get the latest version. The Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 GA build already includes those updates.

Windows 81 Updates

And Microsoft also updated a lot of Windows Apps in the Windows Store which should be automatically installed on your Windows 8.1 System

Hyper-V 2012 R2 Poster

Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters

Microsoft today released the Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters which provide a a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 and focuses on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading your private cloud.

Date Published:
September 2013 10/14/2013
File name:
File size:
Generation 2 Virtual Machines GA.pdf 216 KB
Hyper-V and Failover Clustering GA.pdf 219 KB
Hyper-V Storage GA.pdf 222 KB
Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk Sharing GA.pdf 206 KB
Live Migration GA.pdf 238 KB
Session Modes GA.pdf 181 KB
Upgrading Your Private Cloud GA.pdf 224 KB
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture GA.pdf

You can the Microsoft Download Page: Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters

And maybe there will be an update for the Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App shortly.

E2EVC Copenhagen

Speaking at E2EVC 2013 Rome

E2EVC Virtualization Conference is a non-commercial, virtualization community Event. The main goal is to bring the best virtualization experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. E2EVC is a weekend crammed with presentations, Master Classes and discussions delivered by both virtualisation vendors product teams and independent experts. This is not just a Microsoft only event, this event covers products from all the big vendors in the virtualization area such as Citrix, VMware and Microsoft.

This year I already had the chance to speak at the E2EVC (Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference) in Copenhagen, and this November (1.-3. November) I get the chance to speak at the E2EVC in Rome. If you are working in the virtualization space this is absolutely the right event for you. Here are some numbers:

  • Attendees and experts from around 18 countries
  • 18 Microsoft MVPs, 15 Citrix CTPs and 6 VMware vExperts.
  • 20th event in 10 years

Together with Michael Rueffli I will do a session around System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Azure Pack.

SCVMM 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack: The Cockpit for your private cloud

SCVMM 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack: The Cockpit for your private cloud – New Features and Capabilities to build Windows Azure like private / hybrid clouds 

So make sure you to checkout the E2EVC homepage and register for the event in Rome, Italy.

This will be my third E2EVC, as already mentioned I was speaking at the E2EVC Copenhagen this year and at the E2EVC in Hamburg last year.

System Center Universe Europe 2013

System Center Universe Europe 2013 – Review

Okay finally after two weeks I found some time to write about the System Center Universe Europe 2013 in Bern, Switzerland. I arrived Sunday morning in Bern at the meeting point for the speakers day. The speakers day was organized by Marcel Zehner and the SCU Europe team for all the speakers which came from all over the world. The time was used to visit some famous place around and in Bern and get dinner together.

System Center Universe Europe 2013

On Monday, the event finally started with around 280 attendees and with a look at the official feedback, they were enjoying the event and the sessions. I had the chance to deliver two sessions about Networking in SCVMM on Monday, together with Damian Flynn (MVP), Kevin Greene (MVP) and Michel Lüscher. Tuesday I had another two sessions, one with Carsten Rachfahl (MVP) about what’s new in Hyper-V 2012 R2 and another one with Philipp Witschi (itnetx) about “Ten things every IT Pro should know about”.

Other significant highlights were the attendee’s party on Monday night sponsored by Savision and itnetx and the closing party on Tuesday hosted by Cireson.

You can get more information on the System Center Universe Europe Homepage.

You can also download the slide decks and the session recordings.

By the way, there will be another System Center Universe Europe next year, so mark your calendar.

SMB Bandwidth Limits

Hyper-V over SMB: SMB Bandwidth Limits

SMB is a huge topic since Windows Server 2012 and together with the concept of Converged Networking there was one very important features missing, and this was QoS (Quality of Service) for SMB traffic. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft addressed that and added a new feature called SMB Bandwidth Limits. SMB Bandwidth Limits allow you do separate different types of SMB traffic and limit them.

There are three different default types of SMB categories:

  • Default – Access to File Servers for library storage, for example the System Center Virtual Machine Manager to copy files to the Hyper-V server.
  • VirtualMachine – The traffic between the Hyper-V hosts and the storage of the Virtual Machines
  • LiveMigration – In Windows Server 2012 Live Migration can make use of SMB and so you can also set a limit to Live Migration traffic

SMB Bandwidth Limits

For example you could limit the Default SMB traffic and the Live Migration traffic and leave the Virtual Machine Storage traffic unlimited.

Enable SMB Bandwidth Limit

To set this up you have first to enable the feature over Server Manager or Windows PowerShell.

Server Manager:

Enable SMB Bandwidth Limit


Install-WindowsFeature FS-SMBBW

Hot to configure SMB Bandwidth Limits

You can configure the SMB Bandwidth Limits via Windows Powershell

Configure SMB Bandwidth Limit via PowerShell

Set-SmbBandwidthLimit -Category LiveMigration -BytesPerSecond 125829120
Remove-SmbBandwidthLimit -Category LiveMigration

Source: Graphic from Jose Barreto (Microsoft Corp.)


ConnectX-3 Pro NVGRE Offloading RDMA

Hyper-V Network Virtualization: NVGRE Offloading

At the moment I spend a lot of time working with Hyper-V Network Virtualization in Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and with the new Network Virtualization Gateway. I am also creating some architecture design references for hosting providers which are going to use Hyper-V Network Virtualization and SMB as storage. If you are going for any kind of Network Virtualization (Hyper-V Network Virtualization or VXLAN) you want to make sure you can offload NVGRE traffic to the network adapter.

Well the great news here is that the Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro not only offers RDMA (RoCE), which is used for SMB Direct, the adapter also offers hardware offloads for NVGRE and VXLAN encapsulated traffic. This is great and should improve the performance of Network Virtualization dramatically.

NVGRE Offloading

More information on the Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro:

ConnectX-3 Pro 10/40/56GbE adapter cards with hardware offload engines to Overlay Networks (“Tunneling”), provide the highest performing and most flexible interconnect solution for PCI Express Gen3 servers used in public and private clouds, enterprise data centers, and high performance computing.

Public and private cloud clustered databases, parallel processing, transactional services, and high-performance embedded I/O applications will achieve significant performance improvements resulting in reduced completion time and lower cost per operation.

Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro


  • 10/40/56Gb/s connectivity for servers and storage
  • World-class cluster, network, and storage performance
  • Cutting edge performance in virtualized overlay networks (VXLAN and NVGRE)
  • Guaranteed bandwidth and low-latency services
  • I/O consolidation
  • Virtualization acceleration
  • Power efficient
  • Scales to tens-of-thousands of nodes

Key features:

  • 1us MPI ping latency
  • Up to 40/56GbE per port
  • Single- and Dual-Port options available
  • PCI Express 3.0 (up to 8GT/s)
  • CPU offload of transport operations
  • Application offload
  • Precision Clock Synchronization
  • HW Offloads for NVGRE and VXLAN encapsulated traffic
  • End-to-end QoS and congestion control
  • Hardware-based I/O virtualization
  • RoHS-R6

Virtualized Overlay Networks — Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud demands that data centers host and serve multiple tenants, each with their own isolated network domain over a shared network infrastructure. To achieve maximum efficiency, data center operators are creating overlay networks that carry traffic from individual Virtual Machines (VMs) in encapsulated formats such as NVGRE and VXLAN over a logical “tunnel,” thereby decoupling the workload’s location from its network address. Overlay Network architecture introduces an additional layer of packet processing at the hypervisor level, adding and removing protocol headers for the encapsulated traffic. The new encapsulation prevents many of the traditional “offloading” capabilities (e.g. checksum, TSO) from being performed at the NIC. ConnectX-3 Pro effectively addresses the increasing demand for an overlay network, enabling superior performance by introducing advanced NVGRE and VXLAN hardware offload engines that enable the traditional offloads to be performed on the encapsulated traffic. With ConnectX-3 Pro, data center operators can decouple the overlay network layer from the physical NIC performance, thus achieving native performance in the new network architecture.

I/O Virtualization — ConnectX-3 Pro SR-IOV technology provides dedicated adapter resources and guaranteed isolation and protection for virtual machines (VMs) within the server. I/O virtualization with ConnectX-3 Pro gives data center managers better server utilization while reducing cost, power, and cable complexity.

RDMA over Converged Ethernet — ConnectX-3 Pro utilizing IBTA RoCE technology delivers similar low-latency and high- performance over Ethernet networks. Leveraging Data Center Bridging capabilities, RoCE provides efficient low latency RDMA services over Layer 2 Ethernet. With link-level interoperability in existing Ethernet infrastructure, Network Administrators can leverage existing data center fabric management solutions.

Sockets Acceleration — Applications utilizing TCP/UDP/IP transport can achieve industry- leading throughput over 10/40/56GbE. The hardware-based stateless offload engines in ConnectX-3 Pro reduce the CPU overhead of IP packet transport. Socket acceleration software further increases performance for latency sensitive applications.

Storage Acceleration — A consolidated compute and storage network achieves significant cost-performance advantages over multi-fabric networks. Standard block and file access protocols can leverage Ethernet or RDMA for high-performance storage access.

Software Support – All Mellanox adapter cards are supported by Windows, Linux distributions, VMware, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, and Citrix XenServer. ConnectX-3 Pro adapters support OpenFabrics-based RDMA protocols and software and are compatible with configuration and management tools from OEMs and operating system vendors.


Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway VM Network Connectivity

Connect Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway in System Center Virtual Machine Manager

If you are using Hyper-V Network Visualization you can use the Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway for your Virtual Machines to leave the VM Networks or to connected inside these Virtual Networks. If you have deployed the Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway, which is basically a virtual machine which you can deploy with a Service Template inside SCVMM, you have to connect this Gateway inside System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway Service Template

First open the SCVMM console and navigate to Fabric and add a new Network Service. Enter a name fort the Network Service.

Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway in Virtual Machine Manager

Choose the Microsoft Windows Server Gateway as a model.

Microsoft Windows Server Gateway

Setup the Run As account for the connection and enter the connection string for the Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway

Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway connection string

If your Gateway is not domain joined you have to use Certificate for the communication between Virtual Machine Manager and the Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway.

After that you can validate and test the network service configuration of the Gateway.

Validate Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway

After you have added the Gateway you have to do a final configuration step in the properties of the Gateway.

Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway

You have to map the network adapters for the frontend (Internet, Corpnet) with the NIC and the back end which would be the tenant network to the specific NIC.

Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway Configuration


After that you can now finally add connectivity to your VM Networks which are using Hyper-V Network Virtualization, such as Site-to-Site VPN, Routing or NAT.

Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway VM Network Connectivity



Speaking at Geekmania 2013

Last year I was speaking at Geekmania 2012 in Switzerland about Windows Server 2012: Hyper-V V3 – the new generation Hypervisor and Windows Server 2012: Storage Management – get ready for “Big Data” where we talked a lot about the new storage features and Hyper-V over SMB. This year I have again the honor to present at Geekmania 2013 (25. October). This time I will have two sessions (german), together with Marcel Zehner (Microsoft MVP) I willl talk about PowerShell 4.0 and Desire State Configuration and with Philipp Witschi (itnetx gmbh) I will talk about Hyper-V and Storage.

Powershell Jump Start

Sie entwickeln Ihre Scripts immer noch mit VBScript oder anderen Legacy-Skriptsprachen? Oder benutzer gar noch den guten, alten Command Prompt? Dann wird es langsam Zeit dass Sie sich mit PowerShell beschäftigen. In dieser 100%-Demo-Session zeigen wir Ihnen von Grund auf was in PowerShell steckt, wie es funktioniert und wie man diese interaktive Shell- und Scripting-Technologie einsetzen kann. Dabei starten wir ganz unten, und bringen Sie in kurzer Zeit auf eine angenehme Flughöhe!

Neue Standards in Sachen Skalierbarkeit und Performance: Microsoft Hyper-V auf Basis SOFS/SMB3.0

Mit Windows Server 2012 unterstützt Microsoft zum ersten Mal File basierendes Storage für Hyper-V. Erfahren sie mehr über das Private Cloud Storage der Zukunft, welche Vorteile Hyper-V over SMB gegenüber Block Storage hat und welche Erneuerungen in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hinzugekommen sind


Make sure you also checkout other events and session: