Private Cloud market and Microsoft hyper-v role

At this stage it is very clear Private Cloud will be the next adoption on Enterprise Data centers.  Microsoft and other Virtualization vendors actively promoting the Private Cloud adoption as a starting point for the work automation and meet ever demanding business requirement. Seamless migration to Public Cloud would be initiated through the adoption of Private Cloud to most companies.

Microsoft HYPER-V as a hyper visor itself won’t make the big difference in this picture unless it has strong management capability around it. Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Group’s (ESG) has seen this and work closely with the System Center suite, and now the result is Microsoft HYPER-V has been observer as one of the main virtualization platform for most T shops due to this management capability around it which surpass the other virtualization vendor solutions. Microsoft System Center product suite (SCVMM, SCCM, SCOM and latest add-ons of SCSM and SSP 2.0) has completed the whole picture of the Private Cloud with complete management control in hand.

This is where Microsoft stand out in the battleground by provide unique value to the customer. System Center’s unique ability to provide deep insight into the applications running within the virtual machines (VMs), to manage heterogeneous virtualized environments, and to serve as a strong on-ramp to private cloud computing. Unlike the solutions of all other virtualization vendors, Microsoft’s management solution can manage not only the virtualization infrastructure but the actual applications and services that run inside the virtual machines. This is key to leveraging the capabilities of virtualization and the private cloud – it’s the apps that really matter at the end of the day.

While leveraging these advantages to customers Microsoft went step forward by adding added VMware management to System Center. This allowed for one management infrastructure to manage all of the assets in IT, from physical to virtual, Microsoft to VMware, Windows to Linux. And now with the System Center 2012, we’ll extend that capability by enhancing our support for VMware and adding support for Citrix XenServer.

Virtualization is a major on-ramp to private cloud computing. As companies begin the shift to private cloud, they recognize that applications are the key services that the cloud delivers. Microsoft has overseen and listen to the customer requirements and understood private cloud needs a new level of automation and management, beyond what traditional virtualization management offers. Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2010 (SCVMM 2012) is fully geared towards Private Cloud and Public Cloud adoption with it’s new features. You can have a quick overview of the new feature information over here.

ERR9999 appears when you try to open the SSP 2.0 site

If you’ve been setup the SSP 2.0 for the first time and try to open the web site you might come up with the above mention error message on the web site. This is something I came across during my testing on SSP 2.0 setup.

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Initially my concern has been the SQL setup, I’ve used SQL 2008 setup on Windows 2008 R2 Ent SP1 machine where are not supported! At least I need to setup the SP2 for the SQL. Never the less after applying the SQL SP2 I found out it is not the case.

According to the SSP documentation you’ll have to create service accounts as follows,

Account Name

Requested during

Used for

Prerequisites

High Security

Service Account

VMMSSP server component setup

Running the Windows Service implementation of the VMMSSP server component, the Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 service, and underlying services and processes. The server component also uses this account for external communication, such as:

· Communicating with the VMM server and performing tasks that require interacting with the VMM server.

· Communicating with the VMMSSP database.

Make sure this is an Active Directory domain account.

Before you install the VMMSSP server component, make sure this account has administrative permissions on the VMM Administrator Console.

You must also make sure that this account is granted Local Administrator permissions on the computer where you plan to install the server component.

Use a low-privilege domain account

Application Pool Identity

VMMSSP website component setup

Running the application pool used for the VMMSSP website component. The VMMSSP website component also uses this account for external communication, such as:

· Communicating with the VMMSSP server and database components.

· Running tasks that require interacting with the other self-service portal components.

This account can be a domain account.

Use a low-privilege domain account.

Taken from official documentation on SSP 2.0

For both service account and the application pool identity I’ve used the same account. It seems like with Application Pool Identity has not accepted the created service account with the lease privilege given to it. Even after adding the service account to the local Administrator group of the SSP setup server problem still exist. Bit of web search and TechNet forums found out the issue related to the Application Pool Identity service is not having enough permission with the service account. To narrow the issue I’ve assigned the Domain Administrator account for the VMSSP Application Pool,

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After that recycle the Application pool and tried to access the SSP site and what do you know it solve the problem!

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But the actual question remains why it didn’t work with the least privilege which needs further investigation.

Windows thin pc trial availability

Microsoft yesterday announced the public test version of it’s Windows Thin C (WinTPC) for the public. WinTPC is a locked down or scaled down version of Microsoft Windows 7 which can be run on legacy computer systems. This can be taken as a successor of VDI to Microsoft Fundamentals of Legacy PC’s solution based on Windows XP with SP3. WinTPC solution is available for customers with Software Assurance licensing option in place. One cool thing is you don’t have to purchase VDI license if you want to try WinTPC method. You can try the public CTP version from Microsoft connect portal here.

In a way customer’s can repurpose their old hardware and increase the life cycle of hardware disposal. As per my point of view this is a good news for most of the Enterprise customers who don’t want to replace their desktop computers of users who’s primarily job won’t require high end or new processor power available in the market. (Eg: Banking tellers, cashier’s…etc)

Some of the additional benefits from technology point of view is support of the RemoteFX technology, which is coming with Windows 2008 R2 SP1. With RemoteFX technology combine users can experience rich graphics experience on WinTPC. This is yet to be tested and verified from my point of view but if things go smoothly, programs like CAD, basic graphic design programs can be run on the thin clients which can save significant amount of money to companies.

HP and Wyse Technologies are working on new thin-clients hardware to work with WinTPC and VDI solutions. Microsoft claims that older “Legacy” PC’s can be used with WinTPC instead of those hardware as well. More details can be found over here and here.

With the use of System Center Configuration Manager clients can deploy WinTPC to desktop PC’s and manage them centrally. I think considering the security standpoint of view this is very important as well.