Tag: Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces

What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces

Microsoft announced the next version of the Windows Server platform called Windows Server 2012 R2 at TechEd North America. I already blog about what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. This post will focus about Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces.

Storages Spaces

First there are new exciting new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces. Microsoft first released there Software Defined Storage solution called Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 and this allows you basically to build your own storage solution based on a simple JBOD hardware solution. Storage spaces is a really cost-effective storage solution which allows companies to save up to 75% of storage costs in compare to traditional SAN storage. I also mention some standard features which are included in Windows Server 2012.

Pooling of disks – You can pool physical disks together and create multiple virtual disks on the storage pool even with different resiliency options.

Continuous availability – Storage Pools and Disks can be clustered with the Microsoft Failover Cluster so if one server goes down the virtual disks and file shares are still available.

SMB copy offload – Offloading copy actions to the storage.

Snapshots – Create Snapshots and  clone virtual disks on a storage pool.

Flexible resiliency options – In Windows Server 2012 you could create a Mirror Spaces with a two-way or three-way mirror, a Parity Space with a single parity and a Simple Space with no data resiliency. New in R2 parity spaces can now be used in clustered pools and there is also a new dual parity option. (enhanced in 2012 R2)

Enhanced Rebuilding – Speed of rebuilding of failed disks is enhanced. (enhanced in 2012 R2)

Storage Tiering – Windows Server 2012 R2 allows you to use different kind of disks and automatically moves “hot-data” from SAS disks to fast SSD storage. (new in 2012 R2)

Write-Back Cache – This feature allows data to be written to SSD first and moves later to the slower SAS tier. (new in 2012 R2)

Data Deduplication – Data Deduplication was already included in Windows Server 2012 but it is enhanced in Windows Server 2012 R2, and allows you to use it together with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and supports VDI virtual machines. (enhanced in 2012 R2)

Management – Complete management solutions with Windows PowerShell, Failover Cluster, Server Manager or new in System Center 2012 R2 – Virtual Machine Manager. Now you can setup new Storage Servers, Storage Pools, Storage Spaces and File Shares directly from Virtual Machine Manager. (enhanced in 2012 R2)

ReFS – The filesystem Microsoft first released with Windows Server 2012 is now also supported for clustering, which means it can be used as a CSV (Clustered Shared Volume). Thanks to Didier Van Hoye (MVP) for adding that to the list

 



Cisco Nexus 1000v for Hyper-V now available for download

Cisco Nexus 1000v

Just got the information that Cisco made the Nexus 1000v for Hyper-V available for download.

What is the Cisco Nexus 1000v

Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches provide a comprehensive and extensible architectural platform for virtual machine (VM) and cloud networking. The switches are designed to accelerate server virtualization and multitenant cloud deployments in a secure and operationally transparent manner. Integrated into the Windows Server 2012 Extensible Switch, and fully compatible with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1, the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series provides:

  • Advanced virtual machine networking based on Cisco NX-OS operating system and IEEE 802.1Q switching technology
  • Cisco vPath technology for efficient and optimized integration of virtual network services
  • Tight integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1
  • Layer 2 Switching with Transmit side Rate Limiting
  • Security Policy Mobility, inbuilt support for Private VLANs with local PVLAN Enforcement
  • Provisioning Port Profiles with deep Integration with SCVMM
  • Traffic Visibility, including VM Migration Tracking, NetFlow v.9 with NDE, Cisco Discovery Protocol v.2
  • And more…

You can download the Nexus 1000v from the Cisco Website



Windows Server 2012 R2

What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Today Microsoft announced the new features which are coming in Windows Server 2012 R2 which will be the next version of Windows Server at Microsoft TechEd North America. By the way just to show you how great Windows Server 2012 was and how great it scaled, Windows Azure uses the same Hyper-V virtualization service built-into Windows Server 2012 and this means complete virtual machine compatibility between on premise Hyper-V and Windows Azure IaaS. This blog post shows what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

Here the next version names:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center 2012 R2
  • Windows 8.1

Now Microsoft announced a lot of new features especially for Hyper-V, and here are some of them:

  • Shared VHDX – a VHDX can now be shared between two Virtual Machine by using the virtual SCSI controller. This is created if you need shared storage for guest clustering inside virtual machines instead of using iSCSI or virtual fiber channel.
  • Live Migration Compression – Live Migration traffic will be compressed by the Hyper-V host before it’s sent over the wire. Which does reduce Live Migration time dramatically, up to 50% faster.
  • Live Migration over SMB Direct (RDMA) – Live Migration can use leverage SMB 3.0 and this means it can also make use of SMB Direct or RDMA which allows you to do live migration even faster.
  • Storage Quality of Service (QoS) – Limit storage IOPS per virtual machine
  • Live Virtual Machine Cloning / Exporting – You can now live clone a virtual machines without downtime and also export a running virtual machine.
  • Linux Guest OS support enhancements – Support for live backups of linux virtual machines and dynamic memory support for Linux guests.
  • Hyper-V Replica 2.0 – Hyper-V replica can now replicate not just two one other host, this replica can also replicate to a third Hyper-V host and the replication time was changed to three different settings (every 30 secs, every 5 minutes or every 15 minutes). Hyper-V Replica also got some background scalability and performance improvements.
  • Windows Azure Compatibility – As I already mentioned Windows Azure is running Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V which means that Hyper-V virtual machines on-premise are also capable to run in Windows Azure
  • Online resizing of VHDX – You can expand and shrink VHDX files during the virtual machine is running.
  • Automatic Guest Activation – zero touch activation of virtual machines. Virtual machines automaticly get activated if the Hyper-V hosts is an activated Datacenter edition.
  • VM Connect using RDP or enhanced VM interaction – This uses Remote Desktop over the VMBus, which allows you to use full remote desktop capabilities (Shared clipboard, audio redirection, folder redirection, smartcards, USB pass-through enhanced login and more…)
  • Generation 2 virtual machines – Gen2 VMs are legacy free and based on UEFI. So this means no more emulated devices, boot from virtual SCSI controllers or synthetic network adapters (PXE boot >100MBit) and enables UEFI secure boot as a standard. Supported guest operating systems: 64-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Zero-downtime upgrade (Cross version live Migration) – Live migrate virtual machines from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2 (this also includes shared-nothing live migration).
  • Hyper-V Recovery Manager – I already mentioned the new service called Hyper-V Recovery Manager in Windows Azure which allows you to run a orchestrator failover of your virtual machines using Hyper-V Replica.
  • Deduplication – Deduplication of VDI Virtual Machines

There are a lot of other cool features in Windows Server 2012 R2 which add other great value to Hyper-V and your Private cloud. I will cover them in some other blog posts in the next days.