Category Archives: Windows Server 2012

Expand your knowledge on Windows Server 2012!

windows-server-2012-logoOkay, we know that you are probably upset that Windows Small Business Server is being retired.  Fortunately Windows Server 2012 R2 will do you well… but do you know everything you will ever need to know about Windows Server 2012 R2 for the SMB space? Probably not… but that’s okay, because we are here to help!  Microsoft Canada is offering a free webinar with a colleague of mine that will really help.

Join Sharon Bennett, Microsoft’s SMB Technology Advisor, to learn about the key benefits of Windows Server 2012.  Topics include:

  • How to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012
  • SBS migration path
  • ROK – Reseller Option Kit
  • CALs – Client Access Licenses

Register early as spots are limited. You will also have a chance to receive an exciting giveaway during the webinar!

Date: Feb 24, 2014

Time: 2-3pm EST

Register here: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032577602&Culture=en-CA&community=0

Server Core Address Woes

From the files of “What the F@rk?!”

Here’s a little gotcha that I’ve been wrestling with all afternoon.  I hope this post can save some of you the frustration (exacerbated by jetlag) that I have been experiencing.

I am configuring a bunch of virtual machines as domain controllers for the company I am consulting for in Japan.  Things are going really smooth on the project, but we wanted to spin up half a dozen DCs for the new environment, so I figured I’d just spend a few minutes on it.  Then I had to configure the IP Addresses… something I have done thousands of times, both in Server Core and the GUI.  I have never encountered THIS before.

Server 1: Done.

Server 2: Done

Server 3: NO

Server 4: Done

…and so on.  I went back to Server 3 figuring there was a bit of a glitch, and sure enough, it had an APIPA (Automatically Provided IP Address) assigned.

I loaded up the sconfig menu, and set the IP Address by hand.  The weirdest thing happened… it replaced my IPv6 address with the Class A address I assigned, and left the APIPA address.

I went down to the command line… netsh interface ipv4 set address name=”Ethernet” static 10.x.y.z…  and it still gave me an APIPA address.

I was getting frustrated… something was simply not going right.  And then it occurred to me… someone else was playing on my network.  Sure enough, he had already assigned that address.  Instead of giving me a warning, it simply wouldn’t duplicate an address that already existed.

Now if I had already implemented my monitoring solution, this would never have happened!

What Have You Got?

With Windows 8.1 less than three weeks from GA, and Windows XP less than 200 days from end of support (#EndOfDaysXP on Twitter), I thought it would be a good time to write about the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit again, but only in the context of Windows 8 Readiness and maintaining a software and hardware inventory of the machines within your organization.

I used to work for a man who said that if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.  These are words I have lived by ever since.

The problem is it gets difficult to keep track of what you have in your IT environment, especially in environments where users are allowed to install their own software.  Don’t forget that software extends far beyond the major packages like Microsoft Office, it also includes things like readers and players.  Many driver packages will also install their own software, whether you realize it or not.

So how do you keep track?  The simple solution is to use a tool like the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit.  The MAP Toolkit is a Microsoft Solution Accelerator that will take an inventory of all of your machines.  Of course it does a lot more than that, like planning for virtualization and private/public clouds, but if you simply want to know what software you have installed, run the toolkit.

Downloading and Installing

The MAP Toolkit is a free tool from Microsoft, and can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/solutionaccelerators.  The current iteration is MAP 8.5, and it is a 74 MB download.

Before you install it, you will need to have the .NET Framework 4.0, plus the 4.0.2 update.  If you are installing on Windows 8.1 it is there, but if you are on Windows 7 then you will need to download them.  The links are on the MAP Toolkit download page under System Requirements.

The installation is a PhD (Press here, Dummy!) installer… just keep pressing next.  Oh, you either opt in or out of the CEIP, and you do have to agree to the license terms.

The installer will install Microsoft SQL Server Express LocalDB if you do not have SQL Server installed (most of us do not have it on our laptops).

Getting Started

Before you begin you have to either create an inventory database, or use an existing one.  Let’s assume you don’t have one already, and name your database.  I usually name it after the company where I am consulting, as you can run the tool for multiple companies on the same machine.

In the MAP Toolkit 8.5 there are eight scenarios you can choose from:

MAP Toolkit 1

For the sake of this article we are going to stick with the second (Desktop) option, although you can experiment with the others as you wish.  In the navigation bar select the third tab (Desktop).

In order to do anything we need to collect the inventory.  In the Desktop screen at the top click Collect inventory data.

Because Microsoft realizes that there are a few non-Windows based computers out there, you can select both Windows computers and Linux/UNIX computers in the Inventory Scenarios window and click next.  (Note: If you are only doing Windows it will use WMI; if you are doing Linux as well it uses SSH.)

In the Discovery Methods window you have to determine which method you will use to discover computers.  The default is to use Active Directory.  You can also use other Windows networking protocols, SCCM, Scan an IP range, Manually enter computer names and credentials, or import computer names from a file.  Select your option then click Next.

On the next screen you have to enter the domain name, plus credentials.  This is the first of two places where you will be asked; for this time it is only to scan the Active Directory for the next step.  If you are not a domain admin then this is where you have to go ask someone who is for their assistance.  Once the information is entered click Next.

On the Active Directory Options screen you can determine whether you want to scan the entire domain (including sub-domains), or only a segment.  In a large organization the second option is probably smarter.  Once done click Next.

On the All Computer Credentials screen you need to create accounts that will actually be able to scan the computers themselves.  You may want to create multiple users (one for Active Directory, one for Linux, for example) for different types of systems.  Also if there are systems in different OUs and Domain Admin does not have access, you can create multiple accounts.

In the Credentials Order screen you can select which credentials to try first.  If you have thousands of AD computers and only a few Linux machines it makes sense that WMI is first; once a credential authenticates the tool will not try to use others.

On the Connection Properties screen you can change the TCP port that SSH uses to authenticate; by default it is Port 22.

On the Summary screen you can review your choices, then click Finish!  Your inventory is ready to run.

MAP Toolkit 2

The Inventory and Assessment window will begin detecting machines on the network.  Depending on the number of machines it can take quite some time, so be patient.  These numbers will continue counting up (Machines Inventoried) and down (Collections Remaining) until they are all counted.

Getting to and using the data

Once the data is all collected you will get a screen with five different scenarios pertaining to the desktop:

  • Windows 8 Readiness
  • Windows 7 Readiness
  • Office 2010 Readiness
  • Office 2013 Readiness
  • Internet Explorer Discovery

These boxes should display what percentage (and how many) of your devices are ready for each.  However you can drill down and get more information, which is where the inventory component comes into play.  Simply click on the Windows 8 Readiness box and the screen will display the Details page.  It will also (in the upper right corner) allow you to Generate Windows 8 Readiness Report & Proposal.  Click on that button and the MAP Toolkit will create two files for you: A Word document that you can customize with your logo and name to give to the client or to your boss, and an Excel spreadsheet with a detailed inventory of all of your hardware and software.  These files will be located in the %username%\My Documents\MAP\CustomerName directory.

If you are going to use these files for upgrade readiness, then you will appreciate that the 3rd tab along the bottom of the spreadsheet has three very helpful columns: Reasons Not Meeting, After Hardware Upgrades, and Reasons Not Upgradeable.  You won’t be left wondering what is wrong with your systems, you will know why they can’t be upgraded (and what must be done to mitigate that).  I found this very helpful when I was deploying Windows 7 to my son’s school several years ago; rather than replacing 25 computers I replaced 25 video cards and memory chips, and the deployment went smoothly after that.

The complete list of information provided by this spreadsheet is as follows:

Summary

  • Windows 8 Readiness
  • Before Hardware Upgrades
  • After Hardware Upgrades
    Assessment Values
  • Settings
  • CPU (GHz)
  • Memory (MB)
  • Free Disk (GB)
  • Flag Not Ready Video

Client Assessment

  • Computer Name
  • Current Windows 8 Category
  • Reasons Not Meeting
  • After Hardware Upgrades
  • Reasons Not Upgradeable
  • Notes
  • WMI Status
  • IP Address
  • Subnet Mask
  • Current Operating System
  • Service Pack Level

After Upgrades

  • Computer Name
  • IP Address
  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Hard Disk Free Space
  • Video Controller

Device Summary

  • Device Model
  • Manufacturer
  • Number of Computer with

Device Details

  • Computer Name
  • Device Model
  • Manufacturer

Discovered Applications

  • Application
  • Software Version
  • Number of Installed Copies
    The Word Document will also be a tremendous help… not because it contains more data than the spreadsheet, but because it explains it in terms than any CxO will understand, with charts and graphs and summaries, without having to review all of the raw data.  The document is written well enough to present proudly, and can be modified with your corporate logo and your name on it easily.

Conclusion

    The MAP Toolkit is a useful tool for collecting inventory data, as well as for analyzing upgrade readiness, without needing any costly management tools (although it works very well in conjunction with System Center 2012 R2).  Aside from saving you tremendous amounts of time in the collection of data, it also provides handy spreadsheets and documents so that you can use the data most efficiently.  I have long said that it is one of the best free products on the market, and I stand by that assessment.
    In this article we covered only a fraction of what the tool can do.  See what you can do with it for Server virtualization and more!

Windows 8.1 Bits (RTM)!

This is cut and pasted directly from the TechNet blog:

Based on the feedback from you and our partners, we’re pleased to announce that we will be making available our current Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro RTM builds (as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM builds) to the developer and IT professional communities via MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. The current Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM build will be available through MSDN and TechNet for businesses later this month. For developers, we are also making available the Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate, which you can download here. For more on building and testing apps for Windows 8.1, head on over to today’s blog post from Steve Guggenheimer.

The advantages of selling Office 365 and Windows Server

image Many small and midsize businesses today are considering the use of cloud-based software applications for the ease, accessibility, and cost benefits they can offer. At the same time, many still need an on-site platform for a range of needs from hosting applications, to print sharing, to storing sensitive financial data.

As our valued partner of Office 365, we would love to tell you more about how both of these products have enabled many partners to provide valuable and cost-effective solutions to their customers. We will also have Sharon Bennett, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist and Microsoft Certified Trainer join to speak about deploying Windows Server 2012 with Office 365 and how you can help grow your business with these products.

Learn key resources to enable your organization to deliver these solutions and a special offer available to get you selling today!

Join the one hour webinar on September 16th, 2013 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (EST)!

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New solutions for small business customers!

Small-Business-Server-Aurora Many small and midsize businesses today are considering the use of cloud-based software applications for the ease, accessibility, and cost benefits they can offer. At the same time, many still need an on-site platform for a range of needs from hosting applications, to print sharing, to storing sensitive financial data.

As our valued Windows Server Partner, we would love to tell you more about how both of these products have enabled many partners to provide valuable and cost-effective solutions to their customers. We will also have Sharon Bennett, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist and Microsoft Certified Trainer join to speak about deploying Windows Server 2012 with Office 365 and how you can help grow your business with these products.

Learn about key resources to enable your organization to deliver these solutions and a special offer available to get you selling today!

Join Microsoft Canada’s one hour webinar on September 16th, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 PM (EST)!

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Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release

Hey folks!  have you ever wondered how book authors are able to get their books out almost as soon as the software they are writing about is available?  Well the simple answer is that they write based on the pre-release (beta) software!  As such there’s a new book for you to peruse!

Introducing Windows Server 2012 (Preview Release) is here!  Download it here:

PDF is here (108 pages, 5 MB)
EPUB format is here
MOBI format is here

Of course, if you prefer the print edition (you know, those things that have paper and…) you can order it here from our official distributor, O’Reilly Media, for $9.99 .

Description

Get a head start evaluating Windows Server 2012 R2 – with early technical insights from Microsoft MVP Mitch Tulloch and members of the Windows Server product team. Based on the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview release, this guide introduces new features and capabilities, with scenario-based advice on how the platform can meet the needs of your business. Get the high-level overview you need to begin preparing your deployment now.

Preview new features and enhancements, including:

  • Server virtualization and cloud solutions
  • Availability and scalability
  • Provisioning and storage management
  • Security features, access, and data protection
  • Infrastructure options
  • Server management and automation

It’s On! VMware Versus Microsoft!

It is going down this week! August 8th (Thursday) at 2:00pm Eastern Time (11:00am Pacific)!  In the Blue corner we have Shawn MacArthur, and in the Red corner we have Mitch Garvis!  Two champions, both undefeated, and the winner will be… YOU!

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VERSUS

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As many of you know I used to (and occasionally still do) teach for a company called VMTraining.  They are a training and consulting firm out of the US, and they have a great courseware series called the Ultimate Bootcamps.  They are a knowledgeable and passionate group, and over the years I have had more than a few debates with some of the other trainers in the group over the competing technologies.

With that being said, none of the guys I debate with are anti-Microsoft, they are just heavily invested in VMware.  In fact when the owners started to see a lot of Hyper-V adoption they approached me to design and eventually write a Microsoft Virtualization Ultimate Bootcamp (which will be coming soon!).  It is great to be able to separate the religion from the technology.

Of course, they are still passionate about what they do (as am I).  Earlier this year Shawn MacArthur recorded a webinar entitled ‘Is vSphere the best Hypervisor out there?’ which can be seen here.  I immediately responded and did a webinar in May entitled ‘Is Hyper-V the best  Hypervisor out there?’ which can be seen here.

Shawn has been at this a very long time, and he is very good at what he does.  So when we were both invited back by Duane Anderson (Executive Vice President International Operations, as well as the facilitator of these webinars) invited us both back for a head to head debate I jumped at the opportunity.

Before you get excited, I want you to know that Shawn and I are very friendly, and have great respect for one another.  We also both respect both platforms, even though we feel what we do.  Do not expect this to be a no holds barred smack-down event.  It will be passionate, but it will be professional and respectful.

Nonetheless, we look forward to taking each other on, and hope you will listen in!  You can register now on-line by clicking here and bring your questions… we hope to answer them all!

Date: August 8, 2013
Time:
2:00pm (Eastern Time)
Where: Get your front row seat right here!

Is Hyper-V the Best Hypervisor Out There?

Of course it is!  Seriously… I have been talking about it for years, and while I think ESXi is still an excellent product, I feel that the complete management solution provided by Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012, coupled with the price point which is as low as one sixth the cost of vCenter Server, make Hyper-V the best hypervisor on the market.

Recently I recorded this webinar for VMTraining, a training and consulting company that I have worked with in the past.  While it is still not on their website, I am glad that the video is now available online.  Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Actual Reality: Desktop Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft

In July I presented my first webcast with BrightTalk.  They were putting together a series on virtualization, and asked if I would be able to speak about VDI and Desktop Virtualization strategies.  It was my pleasure!

The webcast is now available on-line.  I encourage you to download it, and let me know what you think!

Download the webcast here!

Are you excited? R2 is coming…

Sometimes i wish they wouldn’t do it… Once again Microsoft announced new product versions (Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2) at TechEd last week, but did not release anything.

Yes, i am excited too, but please remember that while these are both going to be great new versions, the announcement of them should not stop you from deploying the most current available versions, namely Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.  Both are currently available, there is training for them, there are case studies for them, and you will not go wrong by deploying them.

With that being said, if you are looking forward to the R2 releases, you are many months away; they are scheduled to be released near the end of this calendar year, with the next version of SQL Server scheduled for release shortly after that.

If you want to simply see the new versions, play with the pre-release software in a lab and get to know them so that you are ready to hit the ground running, then you still have a few weeks to wait… however nowhere near as long.  According to the people in the know, preview software for Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014 will be available for evaluation in the coming weeks.  Keep your eyes open for the announcements!

Yeah I want them NOW too… but in Taekwondo we teach the importance of patience… consider this a practical exercise in that lesson!

Step-by-Step: Configuring the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target as a Storage Device for System Center VMM

Over the past few months we have made a big deal about the storage features of Windows Server 2012, including how the built-in iSCSI Software Target allows you to build a low-cost software-SAN (storage area network) for small environments, and how that lets you create a Hyper-V Failover Cluster without the expense of an actual SAN appliance.  We have also made a huge deal about building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012.  What we did not mention is how to add your Software SAN as a Storage Device in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), a crucial component to putting it all together.

System Center VMM allows for three types of storage appliances:

  • Windows-based file server (as managed storage device)
  • Storage device that is managed by an SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative – Specification) provider
  • Storage Device that is managed by an SMP provider

It is the second of these that we are going to focus on.  In order to complete this setup you will need the following:

You can download the evaluation software by clicking on the links above.

Step 1: Configure an iSCSI Software Target

In an article earlier this year I documented the steps to create an iSCSI Software Target in Windows Server 2012.  You can follow the same steps for this exercise by revisiting that article here.

Step 2: Install System Center VMM

This should be done on a separate server, although both can be virtualized on the same host.  Ensure that you have network connectivity properly configured.  System Center VMM needs to be a member of an Active Directory Domain; although your iSCSI Target does not have to be, it makes security easier to manage.

I only now realized that we do not have a step-by-step article for installing the various System Center 2012 components; over the course of the next several weeks I promise to fix that.

Step 3: Prepare your iSCSI Target

In order to  configure your Target as an SMI-S Provider it is important that you add a couple of extra Role Services and Features in Windows Server 2012.  I recorded a video of how to do this within Server Manager earlier this year, which you can access here.  However you can also take this opportunity to learn a little PowerShell by following the following command:

Add-WindowsFeature WindowsStorageManagementService

Once that is done you have to patch your OS with the latest updates.  When that is done you have to install KB 2758246.

Next you have to install the Microsoft SMI-S Provider on your Target server.  It is located on the media for System Center VMM 2012 at x:\amd64\Setup\msi\iSCSITargetProv.  Alternately it is stored on your VMM server at \Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Virtual Machine Manager\setup\msi\iSCSITargetProv.  It is a quick install that does not look like it is doing very much.

While it is not documented that you have to, I like to reboot my Target server once this is done.  Alternately you can simply restart the Microsoft iSCSI Target Service.

Step 4: Register the SMI-S Provider

Back in the Target server, and back in PowerShell!  We have to register the iSCSI target as an SMI-S Provider, and provide a ConnectionURI. Although I have found several methods of doing this on the Internet, none of them worked for me.  What did work was:

Register-SmisProvider

When prompted I supply credentials for an account with Local Administrator rights on the Target server.

Step 5: Add Storage in VMM

At this point you are ready to add the iSCSI Target as a Storage Device in System Center VMM. 

  1. In the Fabric context click Add Storage under Add Resources
  2. In the Select Provider Type screen select Add a storage device that is managed by an SMI-S provider.
  3. In the Specify Discovery Scope screen:
    1. select SMI-S WMI from the Protocol drop-down;
    2. Type the FQDN of your Target server in the box Provider IP address or FQDN;
    3. Ensure that TCP/IP port is 5989;
    4. Select (or create) a Run As account with privileges on the Target server.  (remember that your Target server does not need to be a Domain Member; this part is easier and cleaner if it is).
    5. Click Next.
  4. On the Gather Information screen select your Target server and click Next.
  5. On the Select Storage Devices screen select the drive (or drives) that you will convert to shared storage.
    1. Select the check box next to the device;
    2. In the Classification drop-down select the classification you will add this storage under. (If no classifications exist then click on the Create Classification… button.
    3. Click Next
  6. On the Summary screen click Finish.  As with most screens in System Center 2012 you could also click the View Script button if you plan to make this a repeatable task.

When your job (Sets Storage Array) is listed as completed then you are done!

 

Conclusion:

Microsoft is making it easier for you to build out its tools in a sustainable lab environment, as well as in smaller IT environments.  However these tools are a poor substitute for the real thing; if your business needs the efficiency and stability of a proper SAN for your production environment then there are many storage providers who make great products.  For smaller environments, as well as for labs and classrooms, the software solutions are a great tool to learn, build, and practice. 

To that end we again invite you to download the evaluation software for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 by clicking on these links.  They will help you get started and learning.  If you need more help you can also register for the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and you are already on your way to getting certified!

Rebuilding SWMI… Not the company, just the infrastructure

I have been talking about rebuilding the domain for my company for several months, and finally sat down to do it this week-end.  Because I was essentially destroying the old domain there were a few steps I needed to perform before going ahead.

I performed a Backup of all of my data.  Nobody in their right mind would destroy an environment before they back up their data… especially if they are planning to actually delete the machines and start from scratch.

I performed a complete test-Restore of all of my data.  Now that my Mail Server is completely cloud-based this was easier than it might have been – If I had Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint it would have been more complicated, but also more crucial.  I always stress the importance of doing test-restores because the worst time to find out that your backup did not work is when you need to recover it.  Make sure that it works before you are faced with real data loss.

Planning was actually relatively simple for me, because the main environment was going to look very similar to the lab environment I had recently built for my Private Cloud camp.  I still had the planning documents for that, and I was able to follow them pretty closely for the first few machines. There was a time when I would have done the planning in my head, but now I make sure that I have all of my plans on paper before I go forward.  As the old adage goes, measure twice, cut once.  By having your thoughts on paper it is easier to stay on track… and if you do have to veer then you should document why you did.

Cleaning Up may not seem all that important, but destroying a cluster before destroying the domain is infinitely simpler than doing so afterwards.  It is doable of course, but there are PowerShell commands such as Remove-ClusterResource –force that one will get intimately familiar with if you do not think ahead.

Make sure you have all of the installation Media at hand… either on physical DVD or in an ISO repository.  This should not only include the obvious ones such as operating systems and applications, but also make sure you have the latest hardware drivers.  By looking at my Plan I know that I will need the following media:

Additionally I would need several bits that I would simply download as one-offs… the Report Viewer, Silverlight, and things like that.  However since my networking topology is already in place, I would be able to do that from within the virtual machines.

Now that I have everything ready to go, I am ready to move forward.  Building an environment from scratch (green-field) would be simpler, but there are some aspects that prevented that.  In your production environment (should you ever decide to start from near-scratch) you will have to run through the same sort of project plan.  Make sure you think it out – do not simply sit down one morning and expect to implement in the afternoon; rather make sure you observe your environment for a few cycles and build your plan over time so that you don’t run into any surprises.

In my next piece I will go through the actual build architecture of how I decided to build my server infrastructure; I will also introduce some actual build videos of the System Center components.  If there is something in particular that you would like to see please let me know by commenting! -M

Hyper-V Tips of the Day

Hey folks!  I know it is Friday afternoon, it is mid-May, and most of the country is hip-deep in the NHL playoffs, so I figure I will give you a lighter post… something that will stick in your mind, but with no ‘gotta test it, action items attacked’ sort of thing.

Hyper-V has come a long way since its introduction.  They have gotten to a position of parity with vSphere (its major competition), with a few unique features and a couple of missing features… but for the first time the Microsoft team is confident that their product is on a par.

As someone who has been around Hyper-V since the beginning, I always enjoy when I notice something that has been introduced quietly; not the big ones, like Storage Live Migration and Dynamic Memory that get all of the fanfare, but smaller things. Such as:

  • Hot-changing of many of the Virtual Machine settings, such as Name, Integration Services, and Automatic Start Actions; these are all things that can be changed on running virtual machines.
  • Hot-changing Memory & CPU Resources: With Dynamic Memory the Minimum RAM can be lowered and the Maximum RAM can be raised; the Memory Buffer and Memory Weight can both be changed on the fly as well.
  • Virtual Hard Drives can be added to an existing SCSI Controller – this is great for demonstrating Storage Spaces!
  • Virtual Switches (previously Virtual Networks) can be modified on the fly, and virtual machines can be connected or disconnected on the fly; in fact the only change that cannot be made to Virtual Switches is with SR-IOV, which can only be configured for a virtual switch when that switch is created.
  • Snapshots can be taken of virtual machines at any point, and those snapshots can be reverted or deleted at any time.  One huge improvement to this is that VHDs and AVHD files will merge on the fly, instead of having to wait until the virtual machine is shut down.

These are just some of the minor improvements that I have found in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 (although it applies equally to Hyper-V Server 2012 and Hyper-V in Windows 8).  There are more of course, but in a nutshell we see real advantages here over previous versions.

No, we do not have hot-add memory and CPUs… I hope the team is working on that; but by enabling the adjustment (up and down) of Dynamic Memory we have made real strides, and adding to that the other improvements, it is worth downloading and installing right now!  You can deploy this in you lab and take advantage of the flexibility this technology can provide. Try it for yourself by downloading Windows Server 2012!

 

Two new books on Hyper-V: Networking & Storage!

I love promoting IT Pros and Microsoft, but when one of the champions is a Canadian it is even better for me.  Mitch Tulloch is an IT Pro author from Winnipeg, and is one of the guys I really look up to.  I have a bunch of his books, and every time a new one comes out I try to add it to my collection.  Here are two more that are right in my wheelhouse – Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012.  Pick them up and you will not regret it! –MDG 

Microsoft Press is releasing two new titles for IT pros who work with the Hyper-V virtualization platform:

The author team includes Mitch Tulloch, series editor, and over a dozen individuals at Microsoft including Support Escalation Engineers, Premier Field Engineers, Program Managers, Data Center Specialists, and experts from Microsoft Consulting Services.  These short titles will be available in June in both ebook and print format and while their primary focus is on the Windows Server 2012 version of Hyper-V, much of what they cover can also be applied to previous versions of Hyper-V.  Note that these titles are not intended as systematic guides and instead cover various scenarios on how to optimize Hyper-V environments and how to troubleshoot different kinds of issues involving networking and storage for Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines.

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