The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 2.0, a supported, freely available solution for converting VMware-based virtual machines and virtual disks to Hyper-V-based virtual machines and virtual hard disks (VHDs).

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell®, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell® command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

MVMC 2.0Migration-of-a-VM-with-MVMC-2.0_thumb

With the release, you will be able to access many updated features including:

  • Added support for vCenter & ESX(i) 5.5
  • VMware virtual hardware version 4 – 10 support
  • Linux Guest OS migration support including CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE enterprise and Ubuntu.

Microsoft has also added two great new features:

  • On-Premises VM to Azure VM conversion: You can now migrate your VMware virtual machines straight to Azure. Ease your migration process and take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure with a simple wizard driven experience.
  • PowerShell interface for scripting and automation support: Automate your migration via workflow tools including System Center Orchestrator and more. Hook MVMC 2.0 into greater processes including candidate identification and migration activities.

At this time, Microsoft is also announcing the expected availability of MVMC 3.0 in fall of 2014. In that release we will be providing physical to virtual (P2V) machine conversion for supported versions of Windows.

For more information about the MVMC 2.0 solution including how to download, make sure you visit here.

Summary

With Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2, Microsoft has a solution to enable customers to virtualize their key, mission critical workloads and realize significant savings compared to VMware. Hyper-V enables customers to run their largest workloads. It offers massive host, VM and cluster scalability. It provides powerful storage, networking, and automation features that enterprises and service providers demand. With a number of supported tools, you have many options available to test and continue your migration to Hyper-V.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 released

Are your datacenter costs rising? Does your current infrastructure make it difficult to scale up or down quickly to respond to the changing needs of your organization? To meet these challenges, you need a more cost-effective, agile way to provide IT services—quickly, efficiently, and on demand.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 is a free, partner-extensible solution that allows you to dynamically pool, allocate, and manage datacenter resources. Using the Self-Service Portal, you can reduce IT costs, while increasing agility for your organization. The Self-Service Portal works with products and technologies you know and trust, like Windows Server and the System Center product suite. This solution delivers:

  • Automated web portals and a workload provisioning engine that integrates with System Center.
  • Tested guidance and best practices to help configure and deploy private cloud infrastructures.
  • Guidance to help partners easily extend functionality.
  • Localization in three languages: Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

Self-Service Portal Technology Partners

The Self-Service Portal includes powerful extensibility features for Microsoft technology partners. Independent software and hardware vendors can customize different virtual machine actions (create, delete, stop, start, shut down, connect, pause, and so on) to take advantage of the unique characteristics of their infrastructure.

Citrix

Citrix Integration Pack for Self-Service Portal

The integration pack integrates Essentials for Hyper-V with System Center by automatically provisioning the storage whenever a virtual machine is commissioned though the Self-Service Portal.
Learn more >

Compellent

Compellent Solution Pack for Self-Service Portal

Utilizing Windows PowerShell® with the Compellent Storage Center SAN, Compellent’s Solution Pack enables the integration and support for self-service provisioning of data storage resources with Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Server Hyper-V™ through the Self-Service Portal.
Learn more >

f5

F5 Solution for Self-Service Portal

The F5 solution for Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal adds the option for traffic management by the BIG-IP application delivery controller (ADC) within the service role section of a user request. Executing this option automatically configures the BIG-IP for the request of VMs as they come online.
Learn more >

HP

HP Services Using the Self-Service Portal

Accelerate your journey to the private cloud with HP’s Converged Infrastructure and HP Technology Consulting services. Begin with a short assessment, then continue to implementation based on HP’s deep experience in the datacenter. HP uses pre-developed scripts, portals, and cmdlets to integrate into your environment and build a self-service infrastructure.
Learn more >

Intel

Intel Cloud Builder Guide: Cloud Design and Deployment on Intel Platforms

The Intel reference architecture will assist organizations that require their cloud data and assets to reside on premises and those that need to support a new business domain with a separate IT infrastructure that is scalable and flexible.
Learn more >

NetApp

NetApp ApplianceWatch PRO 2.1.1

Accelerate virtual machine provisioning, and increase storage efficiencies in private cloud implementations managed by the Self-Service Portal with the integration scripts and PowerShell cmdlets included in ApplianceWatch PRO 2.1.1 that enable rapid provisioning of space-efficient VMs using NetApp FlexClone technology.
Learn more >

VKernel

VKernel Chargeback with Hyper-V

VKernel Chargeback with Hyper-V enables private clouds to automatically map virtualization costs to applications and customers by reporting on allocated costs and by measuring and expensing the actual consumption of server and storage resources by cloud customers.
Learn more >

Hyper-V Monitor Gadget for Windows Sidebar

Created by Tore Lervik (mindre.net), The gadget can list multiple servers at once and also support vmconnect when double clicking on a VM. The gadget uses WMI to connect to the server so the user might need to follow John Howard’s guide remote WMI access (Step 5) on both the client and the Hyper-V server.

He has created a sidebar gadget so you can see what the Hyper-V server is doing from a workstation. The gadget can list multiple servers at once and also support vmconnect when double clicking on a VM.

PS: The gadget uses WMI to connect to the server so the user might need to follow John Howard’s guide remote WMI access on both the client and the Hyper-V server.

Some of the features are:

  • VM CPU graph
  • Wake on Lan support
  • VM RDP (If the host is running 2008 R2)
  • Multilanguage support.
  • Optimized performance releated to VM-RDP addresses.
  • Added ability to only display a number of VM at the time. (Good for people having more VM than fits on the screen)
  • If a VM not in the screen is off the host’s name will be red, if it’s paused or starting it will be orange.
  • Added ability to minimize a server in the monitor view. Holding mouse cursor over the Host will display information about the VM’s
  • Added option to choose what type of RDP setting to the host on a pr. host basis.
  • Added VM information when holding the mouse cursor over a VM (The gadget needs focus for this to work..)
  • Added Orange background to a VM that is running with the Health-status not beeing OK. (Happens when a VM is booting up by bluescreen)
  • Added Pause button to the VM controls.
  • Wibout Bootsma is now part of the gadget development. :)

Download here;
Hyper-V Monitor.gadget (50 kb)

Continue reading

Three Steps to a PXE-Free XenDesktop on Hyper-V

http://community.citrix.com/display/ocb/2010/04/13/Three+Steps+to+a+PXE-Free+XenDesktop+on+Hyper-V

I ran into an interesting situation last week while working with Tony Sanchez from our Global Microsoft Team. He was setting up XenDesktop 4 on Hyper-V 2008 R2. However, the lab he was at used a Windows Deployment Server (WDS) for image management and it relies extensively on PXE. Rather than modify the WDS to support the Provisioning Services PXE boot file, we decided the best solution was to make a boot ISO that will load the OS directly from the Provisioning Services host and then boot the guests from that ISO.

Background

Since not all my readers are familiar with using the Boot Device Manager, I will set the stage. When configuring a virtual machine to boot off of a CD-ROM image for PVS, you need to do three things:

  1. Add a Legacy network card on the host since the Synthetic network adapter is not created until the Operating System loads.
  2. Configure the BIOS boot order so that CD-ROM is first in the list.
  3. Assign a bootable ISO image to the CD-ROM/DVD drive.
Take Note
The PXE boot option is required in order for the NIC Option ROM to stay resident in memory during the pre-boot process. This way, UNDI will be available to the boot device to properly initialize the NIC. Otherwise, the “API not found” message would be displayed by the boot device.

In deployments of XenDesktop where you have more than about 15 machines, the XenDesktop Setup Wizard (XDSW) is normally used to create and link the XenDesktops with Hyper-V. Unfortunately, the XDSW does not support all the possible VM configuration options when duplicating the source virtual machine. One of the properties that is not transferred to the new virtual machine is the ISO in the DVD drive. Normally, this behavior is the preferred because Hyper-V needs a special configuration to support sharing an ISO across multiple guests simultaneously (See this Technet article), which if not configured correctly can cause startup issues.

If you do not want to configure ISO sharing, you can use the VMM server and VMM library to copy the boot ISO to each virtual machine’s folder. If the ISO was large, I would say spend time setting up the sharing configuration; however, in this case the file itself is only 300K and copying it will eliminate the possibility of file sharing/locking issues.

Now you understand some of the challenges, I can tell you the three steps to a PXE-free Hyper-V deployment.:

  1. Create a PVS Boot ISO using the Boot Device Manager
  2. Import that PVS Boot ISO into the VMM Library
  3. Execute a PowerShell script

Step 1: Create a PVS Boot ISO

The Provisioning Services Boot Device Manager is a three-dialog wizard that lets you pre-configure the boot environment just like a PXE server would, except you can then write that to a drive or CD-ROM media. The Boot Device Manager is found on the Start menu of any provisioning server at All Programs >> Citrix >> Provisioning Services >> Provisioning Services Boot Device Manager.

I do not want to spend a lot of time discussing the various options or provide a tutorial on this utility; however, I will provide a few pointers. First, be sure to enable the “Citrix PVS Two-Stage Boot Service” and set it to start automatically on any servers you will use as the targets for the ISO image. Second, if you are using Windows 7, be sure to enable the PAE Mode on the second page of the wizard, like this:

Third, be sure to select Citrix ISO Recorder as the boot device (shown below) before burning the ISO image, lest you accidentally wipe out your local hard disk. For a complete guide on using the Boot Disk Manager, see this Citrix Support Article CTX121331.

Step 2: Import the ISO into the SCVMM Library

Take the ISO you created in Step 1 and save it to the folder where the SCVMM library stores are located. I created a new folder called ISOs at the same level as VHDs and placed the ISO in that folder. Next start the SCVMM Administrative Console and go to the Library tab. Select the MSSCVMMLibrary node and click Refresh on the context-menu to add the ISOs to the library as shown here:

Step 3: Execute the PowerShell Script

Next, you can copy the contents of the PowerShell script below and save it to a file called AttachISO.PS1. I realize that I am not yet a PowerShell guru, so I am aware that several optimizations and error checks could be made to this script. Feel free to modify it for your own use. My goal was provide a working example to help with this issue. The PowerShell script below does the following:

  1. Sets the boot order to CD, PXE (Legacy NIC), IDE, Floppy
  2. Copies the ISO image from the library to the VM’s folder
  3. Creates a DVD drive object at the IDE bus 1:0 if no DVD drive is found
  4. Removes any existing ISO and sets the ISO image to the one specified on the command-line
  5. For larger environments, it lets you know how many VMs it has left to process
AttachISO PowerShell Script
# Purpose:      Attach ISO image from VMM Server Library to Guest Virtual Machine
# Date Written: 12 April 2010
# Author:       Paul Wilson (no implied or expressed warranties)
# Usage:        AttachISO [UNC Path to ISO in Library] [VM Name to Match Criteria]

# Check for the two required arguments and offer command-line assistance if not found

if ($args -eq $null -or $args.Count -lt 2)
{
   write-output "Usage: AttachISO.ps1 UNC_fileName_ISO_File VMNameMatches"
   write-output "Example: .\AttachISO.ps1 ""\\SCVMM\MSSCVMMLibrary\ISOs\pvbt.iso"" ""Desktop"" "
   exit 1
}

# Grab the arguments and store them for later use

$ISOPath = $args[0]
$VMNameMatches = $args[1]

# Get the name of the SCVMM server we are running this on.
# The VMM server could be passed as a parameter as well.

$VMMServer = Get-VMMServer -Computername "localhost"

# Get the ISO image reference object using the ISO path provided earlier. 
# Using the full path guarantees the right object is found. 

$ISOImage = Get-ISO -VMMServer $VMMServer | where { $_.SharePath -eq "$ISOPath" }

if ($ISOImage -eq $null)
{
   write-output "Unable to find ISO: $ISOPath"
   exit 1
}

# Get the collection of VMs that match the name parameters supplied and output that information

$VMs = Get-VM | where { $_.Name -match "$VMNameMatches" }
if ($VMs -eq $null)
{
   write-output "No VMs match the pattern: $VMNameMatches"
   exit 1
}
else
{
   $LeftToGo = $VMs.Count
   if ($LeftToGo -eq $null)
   {
      $matchString = "Only one VM matched the pattern: {0}" -f $VMNameMatches
      $LeftToGo = 1
    }
    else
    {
      $matchString = "{0} VMs match the pattern: {1}" -f $VMs.Count, $VMNameMatches
    }
    write-output $matchString
}

# This loop goes through each VM found and does the following:
#   1. Sets the boot order to CD, PXE Nic, IDE, Floppy.
#   2. Gets the DVD/CD drive object.
#   3. The script will copy the ISO image from the library to the VM's folder.
#      The copy is part of the Set-VirtualDVDDrive and New-VirtualDVDDrive cmdlets.
#   4. Creates the DVD drive object if none found and sets it to the ISO.
#   5. Removes any existing ISO and sets the ISO image to the one specified.
#   6. Outputs the number of VMs remaining to process. Added for large deployments. 

foreach ($VM in $VMS)
{
   $LeftToGo = $LeftToGo - 1
   Set-VM -VM $VM -BootOrder CD,PXEBoot,IDEHardDrive,Floppy
   $current_dvd = get-VirtualDVDDrive -VM $VM
    
   if ($current_dvd -eq $null -or $current_dvd.count -eq 0)
   {
      $newDVD = New-VirtualDVDDrive -VM $VM -Bus 1 -LUN 0 -ISO $ISOImage
      $DVDResultMessage = "Created DVD Drive on {0}. {1} VMs left to go." -f $VM.Name, $LeftToGo 
   }
   else
   {
      if ($current_dvd.Connection -ne "None")
      {
         set-VirtualDVDDrive -VirtualDVDDrive $current_dvd -noMedia
         set-VirtualDVDDrive -VirtualDVDDrive $current_dvd -ISO $ISOImage 
         $DVDResultMessage = "Replaced existing media in DVD Drive on {0}. {1} VMs left to go." -f $VM.Name, $LeftToGo
       }
       else
       {
         set-VirtualDVDDrive -VirtualDVDDrive $current_dvd -ISO $ISOImage 
         $DVDResultMessage = "Successfully attached ISO to the DVD Drive of {0}. {1} VMs left to go." -f $VM.Name, $LeftToGo
       }
    }
    write-output $DVDResultMessage
}

Failover Clustering for Hyper-V with File Server Storage

Overview
In a previous blog post, I described 5 different ways to implement Windows Server Failover Clustering with Hyper-V. Those options included: Parent-based Failover Clustering with two physical servers, Child-based Failover Clustering with two physical servers, Mixed Physical/Virtual Failover Clustering, Failover Clustering with two child partitions on one physical server and Standalone demo laptop with Virtual iSCSI SAN.

However, I failed to mention in that post the option to use CIFS/SMB file server share as your option for Failover Clustering storage. This scenario is so unique (with differences in flexibility, cost and performance),  that I would argue it constitutes a sixth method. Here’s how you can do it.

Before and After Diagrams
As I did with the previous blog post, let me describe the scenario using two diagrams. First, here is a diagram describing the scenario before a failure:

HVFS01

Now, here’s a diagram describing the scenario after a failure in SPTNODE1:

HVFS02

As you can see, we use a file server (called SPTSERVER1) for storing the Hyper-V files. The idea is to store the configuration files, the VHD itself and the VHD snapshots in the \\SPTSERVER1\VMSHARE\VM1 folder. As we do when using a SAN for shared storage, the surviving node will take over and start the VM in case of a failure. We can also use the very same scenario for Quick Migration, making the VM move orderly from one node to another by saving the state to the file share and instructing to other node to take over and restore the VM.

Continue reading

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2.1 (VHD)

Source; http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2009/12/10/Offline-Virtual-Machine-Servicing-Tool-v2.1-.aspx

Virtualization affects how we plan, build, deploy, operate, and service workloads. Customers are creating large libraries of virtual machines containing various configurations. The patch-state of these virtual machines are not always known. Ensuring that offline virtual machines are properly patched and won’t become vulnerable the instant they come online is critical.

I am therefore very pleased to state that the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2.1 has now been released!

Congratulations to the Solution Accelerator team for this release!

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 has free, tested guidance and automated tools to help customers keep their virtualized machines updated, without introducing vulnerabilities into their IT infrastructure.

The tool combines the Windows Workflow programming model with the Windows PowerShell interface to automatically bring groups of virtual machines online, service them with the latest security updates, and return them to an offline state.

What’s New?

Release 2.1 is a direct response to customer and Microsoft field requests to support the R2 wave. Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 now supports the following products:
· Hyper-V-R2
· VMM 2008 R2
· SCCM 2007 SP2
· WSUS 3.0 SP2
· OVMST 2.1 also supports updates to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines.

Download here; Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool  2.1
More info; http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 RTM!

http://techlog.org/images/vmm_2008.png

Zane Adam: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 has RTM’d and GA via volume licensing is set for October 1. This is great news for all and I’d like to especially thank our VMM 2008 R2 Development, Product Management, and Test teams. Lots of hard work fueled by their passion in virtualization and management has resulted in a very good software release.

A 180-day evaluation version is now available, too, on the Microsoft Download site. You can access it here.

Please experience for yourself what the 10,000+ people who have previously downloaded our ‘Release Candidate’ plus organizations such as Continental Airlines, Lionbridge Technologies, and Indiana University have seen with VMM 2008 R2!

I encourage everyone to explore the new System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 and its new features such as quick storage migration, live migration, and many others. We even offer support for vSphere 4.

To learn more on the new features and capabilities of VMM2008 R2, please try to attend our upcoming TechNet session ‘Technical Overview of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2’. Presented by our Technical Product Manager Kenon Owens, it will be chocked full of new and cool VMM 2008 R2 items. Go here to register for this Wednesday, September 09, 2009 (10:00 AM Pacific) event.

Source : http://techlog.org/archive/2009/08/24/system_center_virtual_machine_

SCVMM 2008 and VMware integration

I downloaded and installed SCVMM 2008 today and installed it to check out the VMware integration. I created a new virtual machine with Windows Server 2008 x64 with 1,5GB of RAM and started the installation from an attached ISO. When I did that the installation failed during WAIK installation. I copied the WAIK files (from \Prerequisites\WAIK\1033) to the server and installed WAIK from there. I than reran the setup procedure and SCVMM installed fine.

The first thing you do after installation is to add some hosts. This beta of SCVMM 2008 supports the following virtualization hosts:

  • Virtual Server 2005
  • Hyper-V (on Windows Server 2008)
  • VMware VI3 (with VirtualCenter)

To manage ESX you need to add a VirtualCenter server. SCVMM cannot connect to ESX servers directly. The result (click to enlarge):

image

In the screenshot above at the right, you’ll see an action called Add VMware VirtualCenter . That action launches a wizard that asks you for the name of your VirtualCenter box and your credentials. Upon completion, the wizard adds folders to SCVMM for each VMware datacenter object and then adds the ESX boxes.

If you look at the screenshot further, the Summary tab shows some information about the ESX host like CPU, memory, storage and the virtual machines on the host. The Storage and Networking tab shows the following info:

image

When you click on the Virtual Machines button and select the ESX host you get a list of virtual machines:

image

From that list you can do what’s expected: stop, start, suspend, modify the virtual machine settings, VMotion, etc… You can also connect to the console of virtual machines. The first time you do this you need to install an ActiveX control. The console looks like this:

image

That’s all I have time for today. Next I will check out how SCVMM works with ISOs and virtual machine templates and how that ties in with VirtualCenter. I will report those findings later.