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System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Beta available

5:40 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

It has been announced at MMS conference during Bob Muglia his keynote System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Beta is publicly available at the connect site.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables customers to configure and deploy new virtual machines and to centrally manage their virtualized infrastructure, whether running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or VMware ESX Server. When used in conjunction with the broad System Center management suite, customers can use SCVMM 2008 to effectively manage both their virtualized and physical servers and applications.

Some of the key features of SCVMM 2008 are:

  • Clustering support. You will now be able to support Quick-Migration functionality
  • Performance Resource Optimization, this allows Operation Manager support.
  • Delegated administration.
  • Support for managing Hyper-V and VMware ESX

You can download the beta from: http://connect.microsoft.com/

Notes From the Field: Virtualization Strategy @ the customer

2:00 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

Last week I gave a System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 session for a Belgian partner and I had the opportunity to talk to some of the IT Pro’s who attended my session and here is an excerpt of a mail I received from one of those IT Professionals who relies on our Technology to run their infrastructure.

Following your presentation and our discussion, I would like to provide you with more information on my current virtualization strategy & projects :

Strategy

A resources optimization initiative set off a new Infrastructure Strategy. The core approach is centralizing IT resource management achieve consolidation and move forward to a more dynamic infrastructure while reducing costs.

High Level Description and Scope

The main scope is reducing the number of legacy servers via Virtualization Technology. The new Infrastructure relies on high-speed SAN and IP network. The backbone builds on Microsoft System Center and Virtual Server Technologies and SQL 2005 as highly available datatier

Pillars

            Secure

The Infrastructure meets our customers highest security requirements including advanced auditing, reporting, use of strong Kerberos Based authentication and authorization along with SSL encryption

            Integrated

The backbone fully integrates with Active Directory, Exchange and MOM 2005 legacy Infrastructure

            Available – Resilient

High Availability is achieved using Virtual Server 2005R2SP1 and Microsoft Cluster Integration. The resiliency is achieved via System Center Data Protection Manager which provides advanced snapshots and ability to quickly recover virtual machines.

            Scalable and Flexible

The infrastructure has been designed to adapt to the customer demands. Flexibility is achieved via System Center Virtual Machine Manager which delivers fast and efficient provisioning from a single management console. Furthermore the design is ready for next generation Hypervisor Hyper-V

Competitiveness

The chosen solution is highly economical and achieves 45% difference with VMWare competitor while bringing unique advantages.

 

Hyper-V Network Switch

10:25 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

Hyper-V is changing the way networking works if you compare it to Virtual Server. Today I was reconfiguring my Hyper-V server and suddenly I’ve lost my RDP connection. Why did I lost my connection to the server? Well I was reconfiguring the networking settings and I wanted to add a network adapter to all my existing Virtual Machines. I created a new network which I called the external network because it was bound to my physical network interface. The moment I clicked on apply the connection was lost. I had to connect my screen and keyboard again to find out what happened, after troubleshooting a bit I saw that my NIC configuration was changed from static to DHCP address.

Why is this happening because when you create a Virtual Network with your physical NIC the way the Parent Partition connects to the network is changed.

netpic2

The parent partition is actually using a Virtual Nic witch is connected to the physical one through the Virtual Network switch. Ben Armstrong wrote an interesting post about how the networking component changed in Hyper-V

http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2008/01/08/understanding-networking-with-hyper-v.aspx

Notes From the field: Virtualization, Data Protection Manager and Operations Manager

7:35 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

As promised I’m writing another post about what feedback I receive from our IT Pro’s in the IT Pro Momentum Program.

Hyper-V: Installing W2K8 and Hyper-V was very easy.  We’re heavily using Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 and Virtual Machine Manager, and there’s virtually no learning curve in moving to the new version.  Testing of one machine proved that it functioned as expected.  However, it’s only one piece in the puzzle, and with our previous solution, Virtual Server is only one of three distinct parts: Virtualization, Management with VMM, and backups with DPM.  Since the VMM and DPM portions aren’t available, it becomes a solution we can’t truly put through its paces.  I’m anxiously awaiting the Beta of each of those before we get any further.  Also, we plan on soon testing clustering, but are awaiting the installation of a Compellent SAN in February before we can proceed with that piece.  My hope is that by the time we have the SAN installed, the VMM and DPM products will have released their betas, and we’ll be able to fully implement Hyper-V for our Test environment.

SCOM: Installing SCOM was very easy.  Finding and installing the Management packs proved a bit more difficult.  It took me awhile to find the Virtualization Management pack, as I think several websites/blogs/etc. said it should be on Microsoft Connect, but the Beta was already closed.  I think I may have been looking in the time between the Management Pack’s Beta and RTM phase, but I’m not sure.  Looking back and trying to remember, I think the management pack had once been called a virtual server management pack, but then it’s name was changed to Virtualization Management pack.   I also had trouble finding the Data Protection Manager 2007 Management pack, though the 2006 MOM pack was available.  I also had trouble finding the current Dell Management pack, and once found, I had trouble using it.  The installation was simple enough, but once installed, it started generating an enormous amount of errors on all the machines.  I’m not sure why.  The errors were WMI related.  It may have had to do with versions of OpenManage, firewalls, or something totally different.  Not sure on that one.

The part that I’ve found most difficult so far with SCOM is customizing the overrides and rules.  Just installing the management packs and walking away results in an extreme number of unnecessary emails, so for the time being, I’ve turned email off.  For example, I might get twenty emails that servers can’t be contacted, followed by twenty emails 1 minute later saying that the problem is resolved.  I didn’t find configuring overrides for these emails to be as intuitive as I’d like.  I’ve not yet had time to find a book that describes how to properly configure the overrides, so that’s where this installation is waiting at the moment.

Deploying and managing an infrastructure is not always the easiest thing to do it requires a lot of skills, skills that can be learned through either the TechNet sites or by following a training in one of our training centers. A course, webcast or whitepaper’s are different ways to increase your knowledge but you will (and I did) learn the most in real life environments. It’s great to hear how IT Pro’s are using our Technology within their infrastructure, do you want to share your experience with other IT Pro’s just let me know and I’ll put it onto this blog.

If you are looking for the Virtual Server 2005 Management Pack for Operations Manager 2007, stop looking you can download it from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=de65b061-49bb-4619-9b2c-31d0f165221f&DisplayLang=en

Data Protection Manager 2007 Management Pack Guide for Operations Manager 2007

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=81a7287d-4e55-499a-b7e3-4ea8cc992fb3&DisplayLang=en

Data Protection Manager 2007 Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=fe7b09bd-cef0-4b96-9ffd-910e6be7fcea&DisplayLang=en