Monitoring resources to make sure they are in the optimal condition never end battle. When things go wrong you need to know where and when it occurs exactly rather than speeding countless hours for troubleshooting. Welcome to SCOM which is dominant in that area. From me personal opinion SCOM is more powerful in Apps monitoring and that is what should be mattered :)

Saying that monitoring the underline hardware and related equipments have same weight over the time to provide complete picture of your environment. Starting with SCOM 2012 Microsoft introduce the concept of 360 monitoring which means exactly monitoring everything.

SCOM team recently released HYPER-V 2012 host monitoring management pack. If you’re having HYPER-V environment and want to to what’s going on under the hood this MP is the tool you should have :) You can download the latest from the CodePlex web site.

Latest features been added in the MP are,

  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 hyper-V
  • Hyper-V Extended Replica Monitoring and Dashboard

 

SCOM1 
Replica virtual machine monitoring

Sources:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/cedward/archive/2013/06/21/hyper-v-2012-management-pack-extensions.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2013/12/10/hyper-v-management-pack-extensions-2012-2012r2-available.aspx

Testing Microsoft Azure Portal

Posted: April 12, 2014 in Azure

I’m big fan of Microsoft solutions (well not all of them anyway) Now Azure is something I’ve been keeping my eye and few years back when Steve Ballmer mentioned Microsoft “All in” for cloud I know that is a big statement. After 2+ years Microsoft still strongly hanging to that commitment and can see how deep their investment on this technology.

Now keeping that history aside I want to share with you all my experience on Windows Azure new portal. Yes you read it correctly “New” portal. Announced during the “Build Conference” which you can see in Channel 9 videos.

Below is my Microsoft Azure portal. Overall appearance is very much appealing and even a business person can understand at a glance about their current subscription.

 

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Once you get to know the interface browsing around and getting your work is pretty much easier.

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however I notice to view my current virtual machines and virtual networks I’ve to click Azure portal icon which will take me to the old Azure portal.

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I do hope Microsoft will finalize that last bit as well. One more good thing I’m looking forward to see is if we can get the same portal for Windows Azure Pack to the hosters and for Enterprise companies.

MVMC is back with more power! If you’re not aware about this tool, “Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter” is a utility which allows VMware virtual machine converting to HYPER-V. This tool has been one of the most requested one from HYPER-V fans and I also felt the need is high when we miss proper mass scale tool from Microsoft to migrate from VMware.

Migrating to VMware to HYPER-V adoption has been increased for the past few years time and that momentum will never get slow. Cite from the Microsoft web site as it is,

“Did you know that Hyper-V has had four times the growth of VMware’s ESX over the past three years? In fact, in a global survey of ~2000 VMware customers, ~50% indicated that they are also running Hyper-V¹. As such, virtual machine migration is an increasing priority for many customers as more and more are exploring and evaluating the Microsoft platform against their existing VMware installed base. Whether it’s virtual to virtual (from one hypervisor to another) or physical to virtual, migration provides customers a path for consolidation of workloads and services, and the foundation for cloud.”

¹ Source: IDC Worldwide Server Virtualization Tracker 2014Q1, and Official unofficial VMware storage survey, link here.

Some of the improvements in the latest release are,

  • PowerCLI is no longer a requirement
  • MVMC removes VMware tools
  • MVMC migrates network IPs
  • MVMC handles disk assignments
  • MVMC is able to convert both Windows and Linux
  • 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

What I mostly like about this tool is Automation. Power Shell has been used most of the time to carry our entire conversion with less hands on during conversion time.

Excitement never ends with were you can migrate your converted VMs :) Two more new features are,

  • 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.

You can download the relevant toolset from below locations. Happy converting from VMware to HYPER-V :)

MVMC 2.0                      MAT for MVMC 2.0

For the last few months Windows Azure (Microsoft Public Cloud service) has gain big momentum. From SMB to all the way to Enterprise companies there are services can be leveraged from Azure offerings. In this article I’m more focus on how we can monitor Azure deployed services by using in-house monitoring solutions. Specifically I’m going to look at SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) monitoring Azure services.

First thing I have to do is provision VM’s in azure with services to be monitored. Now i could have taken couple of hours and create VM’s and then setup Exchange, SharePoint…etc but this is time consuming. After further searching I found out all of these can be automated with couple of PS commands which has been freely available in the Github. Now that is real time saving, entire SharePoint farm along with AD and SQL without much hands on :)

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It took nearly 2 hours time (hey no much complains since everything is automated) to complete the entire task. Once that completed we’re going to monitor them from SCOM. I’m assuming you’re having SCOM 2012 SP1 or 2012 R2 environment. So getting back to SCOM side first thing we need to do is download the relevant MP (Management Packs) for Azure monitoring. You can get it from here.

Assuming you’ve downloaded and extracted the MP to root (C:\SCOM-MP\System Center Management Pack for Windows Azure) steps are as follows to import them into SCOM,

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Select both MP by pressing and holding Ctrl key,

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In my case I’ve already imported those MP’s earlier but when you do this you’ve to complete the task by importing them to the SCOM.

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Note: Keep an eye about the MP version as well

Next task is to make sure we get the SCOM connected with Azure services you’ve publish your services. You’ll need to create and upload a management certificate to work with Windows Azure.  If you need more information how-to-do guide then please follow below two web urls,

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/gg551722.aspx & http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/gg432987.aspx

Once you downloaded your Azure subscription management certificate to the SCOM server we can get started by configuring SCOM server to be integrated with Azure subscription. Go ahead and open the SCOM console. In the Operations Manager console select “Administration” then select “Windows Azure” and finally select “Add subscription

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Once the above task completed you’ll get the good result :)

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Now give SCOM little bit time to go ahead and scan your Azure subscription to find out what you’ve deployed. Once you’ve given ample time come to Monitoring section of the SCOM Console,

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Under the Windows Azure section you can expand and check what information SCOM has detected about your Azure subscription. (Eg: Virtual machines, Roles, Services..etc)

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Please note by default Azure services are not monitored until we manually configure them to do so.

In my next article I’ll explain how the Azure Cloud services can be monitored in detail level :)

This is another invaluable session offered via Microsoft Virtual Academy on coming 19th March. I know most of the IT Pros have questions about SDN plus some VMware folks need to know how Microsoft world we do that :) Well this is it then!

Is your infrastructure outgrowing your current networking strategy? Want to simplify the process for managing your datacenter? Software-defined networking (SDN) can streamline datacenter implementation through self-service provisioning, take the complexity out of network management, and help increase security with fully isolated environments. Intrigued? Bring specific questions, and get answers from the team who built this popular solution!”

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Most important part of this session is Q&A. So I would suggest you’ll do your homework and come-up with all the handy questions you have to shoot to these gentlemen plus the MVP group sitting invisibly to answer those questions.

Note: Click on the above picture to register for this event.

MVA Virtualizing your Datacenter

Virtualizing Your Data Center with Hyper-V and System Center

Free online event with live Q&A: http://aka.ms/virtDC

Wednesday, February 19th from 9am – 5pm PST

If you’re new to virtualization, or if you have some experience and want to see the latest R2 features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or Virtual Machine Manager, join us for a day of free online training with live Q&A to get all your questions answered. Learn how to build your infrastructure from the ground up on the Microsoft stack, using System Center to provide powerful management capabilities. Microsoft virtualization experts Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit (who are also VMware Certified Professionals) demonstrate how you can help your business consolidate workloads and improve server utilization, while reducing costs. Learn the differences between the platforms, and explore how System Center can be used to manage a multi-hypervisor environment, looking at VMware vSphere 5.5 management, monitoring, automation, and migration. Even if you cannot attend the live event, register today anyway and you will get an email once we release the videos for on-demand replay!

Topics include

•        Introduction to Microsoft Virtualization

•        Host Configuration

•        Virtual Machine Clustering and Resiliency

•        Virtual Machine Configuration

•        Virtual Machine Mobility

•        Virtual Machine Replication and Protection

•        Network Virtualization

•        Virtual Machine and Service Templates

•        Private Clouds and User Roles

•        System Center 2012 R2 Data Center

•        Virtualization with the Hybrid Cloud

•        VMware Management, Integration, and Migration

Register here: http://aka.ms/virtDC

SERVER 2012 R2 HYPER-V UPDATES

Posted: February 14, 2014 in HYPER-V

If you’re planning or already deployed server 2012 R2 HYPER-V then this link will provide you the latest updates. Keep an eye and apply them if you experience issues mentioned on the article.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/20885.hyper-v-update-list-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx