Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters

I like to have some visualization of Server 2012 R2, HYPER-V technologies time to time to refresh my memory on the concepts. If you’ll in the same bench then you’ll find these posters are welcome goodies from Microsoft 🙂

So what would these posters provide? Let me give the answer from Microsoft own words

These posters provide a visual reference for understanding key private cloud storage and virtualization technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2. They focus on understanding storage architecture, virtual hard disks, cluster shared volumes, scale-out file servers, storage spaces, data deduplication, Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, and virtual hard disk sharing

You’ll can download them from here.

Using Share storage in HYPER-V through VMM 2012 R2

VMM has become more than just bunch of virtual machine management peace in the System Center roadmap. When it comes to virtualized datacenter management VMM has become center peace of that fabric management. In this article I’m going to explore various storage options VMM provides and how we can leverage them to store VM files. First things first we’ll look at the options we have when it comes to adding the storage into the VMM,



Now we have the capability of adding the storage on file servers. Why this becomes more important is due to the increase demand of storage request by the companies and the cost companies want maintain on IT expenditure. Purchasing SAN storage is no longer viable solution for every VM requested by companies. As a solution Microsoft provides the solution of SOFS (Scale Out File Server). With server 2012 R2 this has been more enhanced with Tired storage option as well. You can find more information about that technology in here. This SAN alternative solution has taken more attention by hardware providers as well. AFAIK several vendors has already started shipping out the hardware boxes of this solution. Dataon have such JBOD designed SOFS file server appliance.

As the above picture define we have given various options to add storage. In my demo I’ve already have setup file server and will go ahead adding that to the VMM console.


Please note you can have your file server in workgroup mode as well. In my scenario file server located inside the Active Directory environment. For the communication I’ll be using a account which have the necessary permissions.


Once the account selected and proceed VMM will scan and find the machine and the available storage capacity,


If you have combination of SSD, SAS & SATA disks in your file server you can do the classification. Classification will help you to identify where you want to keep your virtual machine VHD, VHDX file based on each VM’s IOPS requirement. In my demo I’ve already assigned two classifications,


Once you completed adding the storage to the VMM you can see the availability of the storage by going through Fabric –> Storage –> File Servers,


If you add more storage to the file server and want to expose to the VMM it’s matter of adding more shared storage from VMM console. For that in the VMM go to Fabric –> Storage—> File server —> (in the ribbon select) Create File Share,

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Once you complete the task you’ll find the available storage under the VMM.


Now let’s look at the requirement of exposing these storage to HYPER-V cluster. For this we’ve to go to Fabric –> Servers –> Expand All Hosts –> Properties of the HYPER-V cluster,


Under the properties we’ll go to the section of File Share Storage,


Now we’ll go ahead and Add the storage which has been exposed to the VMM storage fabric,

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That is one way of using storage to host VM’s for for reasonable price tag 🙂


SAN Storage

Ok now we’ll have a look how to add SAN storage. For this demo I’ve already setup simulated SAN storage in my Domain controller. Prior to adding the SAN storage to VMM you need to know if the storage supports Standards-Based Storage Management Service (SMI-S) More clarification about SMI-S can be read in here. With server 2012 R2 there has been new enhancement on SMI-S side. You can read them here. Now that been shared let’s get to the work 🙂

Under the Fabric –> Storage –> Add Resources –> (Select Storage Devices),

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In the next page you’ll have to provide the SAN storage IP address or name and select the proper credentials,

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In the “Select Storage Devices” section you can select the available raw space and tag with proper classification,

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Once the task completed you can see the SAN storage under the Arrays section. Now we’ve added the storage we’ll go ahead and create a LUN from the VMM console itself 🙂

image Once the task is completed you’ll be able to see the LUN created under the Classification and Pools section,


Now we’ll go ahead and make this storage available for the host groups, for that highlight the LUN we created and in the ribbon select the option of “Allocate Capacity”


Now select the option of “Allocate Storage Pools” and add the available storage,

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Now we need to add the “LUN”

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Once the task completed you’ll be able to see the added storage for the host group,


Now we can go ahead and add the storage to the HYPER-V host computer. Go to Fabric –>expand Servers –> Expand All Hosts –> Select Clsuter1, Now right click Hyper-v host computer and go to properties and then select Storage,


Click “Add” and you’ll find “Add iSCSI Array” option is available,

image  Under the Array drop down menu select the provider and then select create,

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In a HYPER-V cluster you can repeat those task on every node. Once that task complete you can go to the properties of the HYPER-V cluster and add the storage from cluster properties,

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Once the adding the LUN completed you can see the volume in the Cluster Shared Volumes section,



Disk2VHD has been a very useful tool for most IT Pro when it comes to conversions to VHD format. It has been a very good tool during P2V conversions as well. Since SCVMM 2012 R2 no longer supports P2V function this tool going to be in virtualization engineers belt for long time 🙂

Saying that this is version 2 which supports VHDX format. Tool also released by sysinternals which is part of the Microsoft company but you’ll not get additional support apart from community support. But again no complains since we use that during version 1 without MS support also 🙂

You can download the tool from here.