Tag: WSUS

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU)

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

In Windows Server 2012 Microsoft introduced Cluster-Aware Updating or short CAU. Cluster-Aware Updating allows you to update your cluster nodes via automated workflow. Maybe you are familiar with the Remediation process in System Center Virtual Machine which allows you to automatically set a Hyper-V node in maintenance mode, move Virtual Machines to another node, install patches on your Hyper-V Cluster node and bring the node back online. CAU can do the same and even more.

Cluster-Aware Updating

 

Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) is an automated feature that allows you to update clustered servers with little or no loss in availability during the update process. During an Updating Run, CAU transparently performs the following tasks:

  • Puts each node of the cluster into node maintenance mode
  • Moves the clustered roles off the node
  • Installs the updates and any dependent updates
  • Performs a restart if necessary
  • Brings the node out of maintenance mode
  • Restores the clustered roles on the node
  • Moves to update the next node

Microsoft TechNet: Cluster-Aware Updating overview

CAU does not only move Virtual Machines, like SCVMM, it does also know about other Cluster Roles like Hyper-V Replica Broker or File shares.

To use or configure Cluster-Aware Updating you have to install the RSAT for Clustering via GUI or via Windows PowerShell:

 Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-Clustering

After this you can run the Cluster-Aware Updating tool via GUI or the new Windows PowerShell module.

CAU PowerShell

Using Cluster-Aware Updating

Cluster-Aware Updating Console

In the Cluster-Aware Updating console you have different options.

  • Apply updates to this cluster – Manually start updating process for a specific cluster
  • Preview updates for this cluster – Check which updates will be installed
  • Create or modify Updating Run Profile – Lets you configure the default settings for the Updating Run Profile
  • Generate report on past Updating Runs
  • Configure cluster self-updating options – Lets you configure and schedule the updating process for a specific cluster.
  • Analyze cluster updating readiness – Analyzes your cluster and roles so the cluster can be patched without downtime.

Configure cluster self-updating options

CAU can be scheduled to updates clusters without any manual action.

First choose the cluster and enable the self-updating feature on the cluster

Cluster-Aware Updating self-updating

Specify the self-updating schedule

CAU Specify self-updating schedule

Specify the updating options

CAU Specify the updating options

Save the scheduled self-updating process

CAU Save self-updating

After you have configured the self-updating process you can still modify it.

CAU configure self-updating

I hope this gives you a small insight into Cluster-Aware Updating and self-updating for Clusters. If you run some Clusters with 16 nodes you know how much time was needed for manually updating the cluster nodes. With Windows Server 2012 the new maximum number of nodes in a cluster is 64, so CAU will save administrators a lot of time and will keep your clusters up to date.

For more information about Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) check out Microsoft TechNet.



Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 released

VHDX

In July Microsoft released the beta of the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012  and two weeks ago Microsoft released the final of  the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 (VMST 2012). I already did a post how you can update offline VHDs via Virtual machine Servicing Tool.

Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 streamlines the process of keeping your offline virtual machines, templates and VHDs up-to-date with the latest operating system and application updates, without introducing vulnerabilities into your IT infrastructure. VMST 2012 helps you effectively manage the workflow of updating your offline virtual machines according to their individual needs.

Using features in VMST 2012, customers can service:

  • Offline virtual machines in a SCVMM library.
  • Stopped and saved state virtual machines on a host.
  • Virtual machine templates.
  • Offline virtual hard disks in a SCVMM library by injecting update packages.

VMST 2012 works seamlessly with other Microsoft technologies.

VMST 2012 is designed to work with Microsoft® System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and with the following technologies:

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) WSUS 3.0 SP2.
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

You can find the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 in the Microsoft Download Center.



Updating offline VHDs via Virtual Machine Servicing Tool

VHDX

Some weeks ago Microsoft announced the beta of a solution accelerator called Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012. The VMST 2012 allows you to update Virtual Machines in a System Center Virtual Machine Library, update stopped and saved state virtual machine on a Hyper-V host, update SCVMM Virtual Machine templates and to injecting update packages in offline virtual hard disks (VHD) disks stored in a System Center Virtual Machine Manager Library.

This guide should give show a quick insight into the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool.

After you have installed the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool and added the psexec to the bin folder of the tool you have to do a quick configuration of your environment.

First you have to add the servers in your environment. You have to add the SCVMM and the SCCM or WSUS server.

The second configuration step is to choose the Hyper-V hosts which will be used for the maintenance and servicing jobs. You need this if you update an offline virtual machine which is stored in your library. The virtual machine will be deployed on these hosts and will be patched before they will be saved in the SCVMM library again.

The Maintenance host for servicing offline virtual hard disk will be the place where VHD will be attached and the update packages will be injected.

 

After you have done these simple setup steps you can now start patching your offline Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs). In the VMST Console you can create a new Servicing Job.

First you have to choose a name for the servicing job and a update source, this could be a WSUS server or update packages stored in a folder.

Now you have to select the VHD you want to update.

You have to select one of your maintenance hosts

And after the servicing job has been started you can watch the process in your VMST console.

 

This is how simple it is to patch offline virtual machines, you can even schedule servicing tasks, so they run after every patch day.



Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 Beta is now available for download

Hyper-V

Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2012 streamlines the process of keeping your offline virtual machines, templates and VHDs up-to-date with the latest operating system and application updates, without introducing vulnerabilities into your IT infrastructure. VMST 2012 helps you effectively manage the workflow of updating your offline virtual machines according to their individual needs.

Using features in VMST 2012, customers can service:

  • Offline virtual machines in a SCVMM library.
  • Stopped and saved state virtual machines on a host.
  • Virtual machine templates.
  • Offline virtual hard disks in a SCVMM library by injecting update packages.

VMST 2012 works seamlessly with other Microsoft technologies.

VMST 2012 is designed to work with Microsoft® System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and with the following technologies:

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) WSUS 3.0 SP2.
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

To learn more about VMST 2012 Solution Accelerator, click here. To download the tool, click here.