I already assume you’re aware and having Hyper-V experience knows the convenience / advantages of being able to take snapshots of VMs state before implementing a potentially disruptive change. But you also know the dangers of snapshotting for workloads such as domain controllers (DCs), Exchange Servers and SQL Servers: If you apply a checkpoint to a VM that’s replicating with others, it’s effectively sent back in time. That can cause AD corruption, password mismatches, missing group memberships and other data loss. But if you’re a developer then snapshot is a blessing for you to re-produce bugs…etc

With Server 10 (aka Server vNext) Microsoft is introducing new types of snapshots, called “Production Checkpoints”


It uses the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) from within the VM, because the VM is aware that it happened (it’s more like a backup operation), applying a checkpoint won’t disrupt workloads. Basically machine will boot in normal boot process be restoring the previous snapshot data. Enterprise level applications (SQL, Exchange) will be aware about this restore process. This is an option you can enable and if you still prefer previous snapshot method in your demo environment you can switch back. With production checkpoint enabled Microsoft has taken HYPER-V customers to whole new level.


You can find entire list of Server vNext improvements in here

This might be somewhat old news for some readers but just want to share Microsoft has given indication they will provide nested virtualization capability on next release. This has been highlighted on the Windows Containers: What, Why and How session on Microsoft Build Conference.

This is one of the features most of the HYPER-V fans requesting from Microsoft (Including HYPER-V MVP’s as well). With this feature enabled we can enable HYPER-V role inside the Virtual machines. This would be really cool when we carry out demo labs.

During the Microsoft Ignite event new “Operations Management Suite” which is the new name for Azure Operational Insights announced. What´s new with this cloud based solution other than the name change is the fact that this no longer just contains log analytics and the things we’ve seen before. It is now also now capable to manage your Azure backup jobs, Azure Site Recovery and Automation. When it comes to onboarding, it´s the exact same process as there was to onboard Azure Operational Insights (and System Center Advisor before that) and there are still two ways to connect the servers to the solution.

The first method is to directly attach the server to Operations Management Suite (OMS) using the Microsoft Monitoring Agent and there is also the possibility to connect your SCOM management group to OMS as well.

As mentioned above the new stuff would be you can manage,

Azure backup
Azure Site Recovery

If you look at the product history you’ll find this would grow to a similar solution like SCOM where you’ll be able to manage on-prem servers as well.

In order to onboard you go to web site Microsoft.com/OMS and register your account. Process is as much easier than configuring SCOM on-prem Winking smile 


Once onboarded you can go through the wizard and add your Azure subscription and start connecting the components. For the VM’s you can install the agent. One thing I like about OMS is the rich dashboard just like previous version. It’s easier to navigate and get required information.


Another thing that´s gotten a new name are the Intelligence Packs known from the Azure Operational Insights days. They are now called Solutions instead and besides from the ones that came along from OpInsights.



Apart from that Microsoft has confirmed this solution has be extend to monitor VM’s hosted AWS, VMWare, OpenStack and also monitoring Linux VMs. This given the clean vision how broader Microsoft is looking and OMS.

Are you a IT Pro or a Developer who work with Azure VM’s frequently? Have you gone through the pain of finding best way to transfer files between Azure VM’s up and down? There are numerous methods you can do this but I found Veeam’s FastSCP (Secure Copy Protocol) is much easier to use. This is still in the Beta stage but I found it’s quote useful. Though I found out sometimes folder refresh is not very efficient but I guess it will be fixed soon. You can grab the beta software for testing from here.

Step 1: Downlaod the software and install and go to FastSCP console

Step 2: Make sure you already have a Azure VM created prior. Go to Azure portal and copy the Azure cloud service url

Step 3: Go to Veeam FastSCP console and click “Add Virtual machine” and provide the url you’ve copied along with VM login credentials,



Step 4: Start playing around Smile You can create folders from FastSCP console to the Azure VM and start uploading and downloading files easily. If there is any bugs you better call Veeam guys Smile


Bug: When I try to create a colder I found out even though I click the button called “Create Folder” it doesn’t appear in the FastSCP console. Best method is to click that button once and refresh the console and then you’ll find the folder you’ve created.

Best HYPER-V tools in my belt

Posted: April 6, 2015 in HYPER-V
Tags: ,

Hi fellow blog readers, in this article I want to share with you all some of the common HYPER-V tools I use in my daily customer projects (Not all the tools used with one customer but vary). Again this is my list and your mileage can vary but share your comments and tools you use to make this article interactive and useful for other fellow readers.

1. Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) – The MAP Toolkit can help you ease the cloud-based migrations as well as local migrations. Before I do any P2V migration or virtualization project this is an important tool we use daily. One cool thing about this tool is it’s has been expand to assess your environment for readiness for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 as well. You can get more information about this tool from here.

2. Disk2vhd – One of the tool that still works for me. This tool is really simple but you have to do certain manual steps to get the VHD file cleansed. Not the best tool for mass VM migration but if you’re planning to do P2V, V2V in small numbers this tool works for you. More information about this tool can be found here.

3. 5nine V2V Easy Converter – As the name implies this nifty software do what is says effectively. Current version is 5.3. Free version would be more than enough for typical job. Why I like this tool so much is due to following reason

“Current version of 5nine V2V Converter supports conversion of Windows Server 2012 R2/2012/2008, Windows 8.x/7, Windows Server 2003 (x86 and x64), and most of Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Ubuntu and CentOS configurations. It also supports conversion to Gen1 and Gen2 Hyper-V Virtual Machines.”

So if your customer is still having Windows 2003 Server this is one tool you can rely on. But I have to warn ya HYPER-V will only support Server 2003 with SP2 and above and official support for OS is already over. Hint – Convince customer to move to Server 2012 or 2012 R2 Smile

4. IOMETER – We love to see how our VM can perform for certain workload before we jump into the installation of the software. We use this in our SAN testing as well and on VM testing. Nothing big I can say about this tool but one essential tool in my toolkit.

5. 5Nine Manager for HYPER-V – Not all my customers can afford to pay hefty price for System Center for  1- 4 HYPER-V host management. But still they want same manageability tools SCVMM used to provide. Well they won’t get 100% what they ask but 5Nine Manager is one definite tool I recommend to them. This software allows you to mange different versions of HYPER-V in single console. As a HYPER-V MVP I always stand for what is best method for HYPER-V deployment and server core is a must. not all the system administrators around the world is fancy about that ide and they prefer GUI. How to find the sweet spot on satisfy both requirement? Well expensive SCVMM do that and same goes with reasonable pricing 5Nine Smile You can find more details about the product in here.

That’s all from my side for now. In future articles I will share with you all what PowerShell commands I use to make my life easier when it comes to HYPER-V management.


If you’re a organization who is using System Center or planning to user System Center, Cloud and Virtualization technology then this is an event you shouldn’t miss. All the industry gurus and experts will be on one location to share their experience with you. What’s more you’ll get a chance to meet them in-person and share your ideas and get expert advise free of charge.

System Center Universe is a global event carried out in various part of the world. APAC region event will be help on March 5-6. Look forward to see most of you during that time.

In my previous blogs I’ve highlighted how Microsoft Azure Site Recovery technology keep on improving everyday. Overall Microsoft Azure keep on adding new features frequently and keeping the phase with that is somewhat difficult as well Smile

Azure Site Recovery is such area Microsoft has been keep on improving to provide Disaster Recovery solutions to customers across the business segments. With the acquisition of the Image Scout who specialize in the disaster recovery solutions Microsoft expand their portfolio of DR options. Now ASR can provide support to protect VMware sites and physical machines as well. Current option are as follows,

1. VMware Site A to VMware Site B orchestrated DR failover via ASR
2. Protecting Physical machines from Site A to Site B orchestrated DR failover via ASR
3. Migrating VMware and Physical servers to Azure using Microsoft Migration Accelerator (Which use Image technology)

Microsoft leveraging Image technology as it is without much modification at this stage. Main components and function model of Image Scout is as follows,

  • Configuration Server – VM running at the secondary site that is responsible for maintaining replication policies, replication status, and health reports.
  • Master Target – VM running at the secondary site that acts as the repository for all replicated data and change journals.
  • Mobility Service – Light-weight software component that captures data changes being generated on the protected workloads continuously, in real-time and directly from memory, for replication purposes.
  • Process Server – Gateway residing at the primary site that handles all compute and IO intensive aspects of replication.

Base on the VM’s, physical machines capacity you need to size the PS (Process Server) & MT (Master Target) servers accordingly. PS server will be holding all the data which is need to be replicated to the Azure side.It can be deployed on a physical or a virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2. It is responsible for receiving data changes from the primary workloads, performing compression, encryption, caching and bandwidth management, before replicating to a secondary location for DR purposes. This approach off-loads all compute and IO intensive tasks involved in continuous replication to the Process Server, thereby eliminating nearly all overheads on the protected workloads.

In general, Process Server sizing depends on the daily change rate across all protected workloads. Sufficient compute is needed to perform tasks such as inline compression and encryption. You also need to ensure that you provision sufficient cache storage in the event of a network bottleneck or outage between primary and secondary sites. The table below provides a good guideline to follow, especially when implementing ASR with the InMage replication channel, or Migration Accelerator the first time.


Replication of the data will occur over IP network. This can be via Site to Site VPN between onsite and Azure or via the public internet. Inbound ports include 9080 or 9443 for data transfer from source and target entities; and outbound ports include 80 or 443 to the Configuration Server to provide real-time updates on replication status and health.

n summary, sizing and placement aspects of provisioning a Process Server for ASR with the InMage replication channel depend on a couple of factors such as number of protected workloads, and daily change rate. In future you’ll find more exciting news from ASR team on their improvement for the Disaster Recovery with combination of Image Scout Smile