Microsoft Hyper-V S3 Cap warning when upgrading a Hyper-V Virtual Machine (During OS upgrade)

During a recent engagement of upgrade Server 2012 OS to latest version server 2012 R2 I came across with above error preventing me from carrying out the upgrade.

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This has prevented me carrying out the required upgrade. Errors has been recorded in the the Windows Compatibility Report.htm

Further search revealed Microsoft Hyper-V S3 Cap is an old S3 Trio 765 emulated video device and the driver isn’t included anymore so you’ll get this particular warning. This will never give you an issues. So next step was to go into the Device Manager Expand PCI bus and locate Microsoft Hyper-v S3 Cap and remove it (Sorry folks couldn’t get this screenshot from the live system during that time)

Once removed you can go ahead and try running the in-place upgrade and continue the setup.

Latest Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Books from MS Press

MS-Press

Microsoft press has released two books related to HYPER-V technology. The contents on these books are written by over a dozen individuals at Microsoft including Support Escalation Engineers, Premier Field Engineers, Program Managers, Data Center Specialists, and experts from Microsoft Consulting Services. Since most of the contents are written by field engineers you can gain more information about troubleshooting and lessons learns during setup an configurations.

 

Optimizing and Troubleshooting Hyper-V Networking

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145383068.do

Optimizing and Troubleshooting Hyper-V Storage

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145382924.do

Software-Defined Networking with Windows Server and System Center Jump Start

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.

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,

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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,

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

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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.

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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,

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

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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,

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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”

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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,

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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,

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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,

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Ethernet Resource Pool in Hyper-V

Resource pooling concept on HYPE-V becomes essential day by day to virtualization data center administrators. I’ve discuss about storage pooling sometime back. You can refer that here. Now we’re in the Server 2012 R2 HYPER-V stage and the concept stays the same.

Now let’s take a scenario before I enter to the technical write-up part.
Let’s assume you’ve two different HYPER-V host servers (HOST1 & HOST2), each having virtual switch which connects the VM’s to the external network. Host HOST1 having external VM switch name as “External-SW-A” & HOST2 having switch name as “External-SW-B”. Assuming you export or live migrate a VM from HostA to HostB you’ll have a technical issue saying VM cannot find the network switch.

Simple reason behind is due to the different switches names on each host. This can be more complex when we’re talking about more HYPER-V hosts having different switches names.

To avoid this problem HYPER-V team introduce to the resource pool concept. Before that I want to show there are no resource pools created on the HYPER-V host,
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We’ll create switch name as “EthResourcePool1” now unfortunately we don’t have a GUI method so our old friend PS will come to the picture. Try following PS command,

New-VMResoucePool –Name EthResourcePool1 –ResourcePoolType Ethernet
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Once that completed on each HYPER-V host computer you can add their existing switches to the pool by typing below PS command,

Before that current status of the HOST1 computers network switch settings,
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HOST1-
Add-VMSwitch –Name External-SW-A –ResourcePoolName EthResourcePool1
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HOST2
Add-VMSwitch –Name External-SW-B –ResourcePoolName EthResourcePool1

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Now let’s go to HOST1 and check on one of the VM properties,

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So what this means is if you live migrate this VM to different HYPER-V host which is part of the Ethernet resource pool there will be no issues to the VM to connect to the relevant network 🙂
If you’re more interested in this feature you can find more parameters and technical information here.

Improved Linux support on Server 2012 R2 HYPER-V

Microsoft is doing their best to welcome Linux as a first class citizen for their world and same goes on the virtualization arena. With the introduction of the Server 2012 R2 HYPER-V Microsoft has carried our several enhancement for the Linux support. This initially start with improving the LIS (Linux Integration Services) enhancements, thanks to the effort carried out by the MS team now LIS is integrated with several popular Linux distros.

Out the new improvements to the LIS two major ones that took my attention are,

Dynamic Memory support for Linux guest operating systems – with this we can treat Linux OS as a first class citizen in the HYPER-V. This is also welcome feature for virtual machine hosting providers as well. In my test lab I’ve installed Ubuntu 13.04 and configured dynamics memory. When the VM is in idle mode memory consumption has been reduced less than 200 MB!

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Linux virtual machine backup support – Now you can use Windows Backup to backup the Linux VM while they’re running (although slight pause happens during snapshot) But this is a welcome feature I would see with significant value.

Live virtual machine cloning – Windows Server 2012 R2 HYPER-V

Server 2012 R2 will be official launch is 4 days ahead. Lot of new features introduced in the Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. I’m really interested about the HYPER-V side of the improvements introduce by Microsoft. It’s like listening to your demands and providing you solutions 🙂

The One I’m about to talk to you about is such scenario. You can clone virtual machine’s and virtual machine’s snapshots while the virtual machine is running! This feature really comes handy when you want to do some testing on the running virtual machine without disturbing to anyone.

You simply take a clone copy of the running VM and do patching, application upgrade and test and verify. Once that completed you can safely apply those changes to the production VM knowing things will go smoothly 🙂

Think about it. This is kind of a dream for System administrators,Application managing engineers. You get a exact copy of production system running in isolated environment and do the testing for verification. To put more into your brain, we can also take a clone of the virtual machine “Snapshot” and run it in isolated environment, how cool is that.

So go ahead and grab a trail copy of Server 2012 R2 HYPER-V and get’s your hands dirty.