Adding workgroup HYPER-V host to SCVMM console

I have been actively engaging with a customer for a HYPER-V project. One of the key requirements is to test the features in the SCVMM. So first task is to install the SCVMM. Piece of cake went smoothly inside a HYPER-V guest OS.  Now adding the physical host to the SCVMM console. Well it supposed to be few easy clicks and finish the job right?…..well no it isn’t if you have your HYPER-V host in a workgroup environment.  In my scenario customer had several HYPER-V guest pc’s in domain environment but the physical PC itself in workgroup environment.

Finally found workgroup mode HYPER-V host can be added to the SCVMM console by selecting perimeter network mode. Under this mode you’ll need to create a secret shared key between the host and the SCVMM console. This might be a typical scenario if a customer wants to host several HYPER-V guests in DMZ zone. (Eg: WEB servers, DNS servers…etc)

The step by step guide article is located here

RedHat Linux on HYPER-V

Few days back I mention about the latest version availability of Linux IC for HYPER-V. Soon after that got a chance to test this on RH 6.1. Below steps will guide through the setup process of RH 6.1 along with Linux IC. Once completed you have the mouse drivers setup properly. Some of the latest improvements of the Linux IC’s are,

First I went ahead and created a VM with default settings. Important part is to add a Legacy network card initially,

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Adding legacy card will allow the Linux OS to have network communication without Linux  IC (Integrated components)

Rest of the process is typical Linux installation and will be shared with you’ll with screen captures,

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image Make sure you’re tick “Connect automatically” for the NIC in bootup.

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Make sure you select customize now and add the desktop component Smile

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At this moment Linux setup is completed. After the boot up you’ll have the chance to register with RedHat Network. This will help you to get the latest updates. Since I didn’t had a RH account I have skip this option,

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Now we go ahead and mount the Linux IC iso file which we have downloaded from Microsoft web site.

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Go ahead and open the Terminal and login under root account by typing “su –“

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Mount the CD Rom to the system, once mounted you can type “ls” and view the files in the CD Rom,

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Now it’s time to install the integrated components, depend on your operating system 32bit or 64bit execution files will be different,

For 64-bit versions:

# yum install /media/x86_64/kmod-microsoft-hyper-v-rhel6-60.1.x86_64

# yum install /media/x86_64/microsoft-hyper-v-rhel6-60.1.x86_64

# reboot

For 32-bit versions:

# yum install /media/x86/kmod-microsoft-hyper-v-rhel6-60.1.i686

#yum install /media/x86/microsoft-hyper-v-rhel6-60.1.i686

# reboot

I had a 32bit version of RH 6.1 ,

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To see if Linux IC setup properly,

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After this completes you can reboot the system and then check the mouse integration and also the functionality of the second NIC.

Latest Linux IC can be downloaded from here.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 6.5 Available

Recently enough Microsoft released the latest version of it’s assessment and Planning toolkit’s latest version (6.5) Fro those who don’t know MAPS it’s a software which available freely for you to do assessment prior getting your hands certain projects. This tool is really useful for consultants, engineers as well as for the end user as well to carry out their own assessment of their current infrastructure. Some of the benefits of the latest version are as follows,

  • Discover Oracle instances on Itanium-based servers for migration to SQL Server: useful for SQL Server migration projects when you tire of the price and virtualization support of Oracle.
  • Assess your software usage and evaluate your licensing needs with the Software Usage Tracking feature, now updated with the Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) scenario: get your licensing right before and auditor does.
  • Accelerate planning for the private cloud with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track Onboarding: FAST is the Microsoft private cloud architecture for their big international partners.
  • Identify migration opportunities with enhanced heterogeneous server environment inventory: this stuff supports MySQL, Linux and VMware scanning.
  • Accelerate planning and migration with the new UI and usability updates in MAP 6.5: All new UI to lay out stuff more logically.

Personally I recommend to use the MAPS before you jump into HYPER-V projects and do recommendation based on your assumptions. Some would argue that based on the experience which is great but backing up that with some real data is much more cooler SmileMAPS will do that part for you with great deal of data with nice presentable manner. Another cool thing about MAPS it can do this even in very large network environments. Recommend to let the scan gather information at least for one week time. This is one of the best tool I can recommend given by Microsoft for free Smile

Apart from that as I mention customers can use the latest version to carry our license assessment on their environment. This is really helpful for them taking decision on license purchasing and fall under compliances.

You can obtain the latest version with sample databases in here. Before setting up MAPS spend some time reading the FAQ pages as well.

PowerShell module for hyper-v

PowerShell is a very powerful tool you can use across Microsoft technologies. Microsoft will keep on adopting and improving this technology every time. Right now PowerShell module ver 2 for HYPER-V has been released. This article will discuss how can you install the modules correctly into your Windows 2008 R2 server. Please note this is for Windows 2008 R2 only!

First get the PS modules from the codeplex web site. Url is here

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Download the zip file to a root drive or any preferred area and unzip. Once that complete locate the “install.bat” file and execute it with administrator privilege.

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Once the installation completed, we’ll move the unzip folder in the PS module folder located in the root drive, (I’ve rename the folder as HyperV and copied to the modules folder)

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Now we can import this to the system by executing through PowerShell. Open the PowerShell and try to run “import-module HyperV” you’ll grant with a error messageSmile

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We need to enable the execution permissions to import the module, please follow the instruction mention in below screenshot,

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After that import the Hyper-V modules,

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Now when that complete we can run the command “Get-Command –Module hyperv” to list down the available commands,

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Now we have plethora of task can be automated combing these commands, it’s all about your imagination Smile

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HYPER-V guest operating system support on Linux distributions

Few days back the above topic came to the discussion table with my colleagues. We got a project where customer got few RedHat machines. One argument went on RedHat Linux would not have mouse movement when we do a P2V and setup the IC’s (Integrated components) Going deep on this matter it is revealed Microsoft has not officially mentioned mouse integration will work properly and it is misunderstanding if someone states.

Following table show the supported guest OS and the capabilities HYPER-V will support on them,

Guest operating system Device and service support
CentOS 5.2 – 5.6, 6.0 (x86 edition and x64 edition)

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, and networking

Services: Time synchronization, operating system shutdown, and heartbeat

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and 6.1, x86 edition and x64 edition

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, and networking

Services: Time synchronization, operating system shutdown, and heartbeat

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 (x86 edition and x64 edition)

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, and networking

Services: Time synchronization, operating system shutdown, and heartbeat

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86 edition and x64 edition) with Service Pack 1

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, and networking

Services: Time synchronization, operating system shutdown, and heartbeat

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 (x86 edition and x64 edition) with Service Pack 4

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, and networking

Services: Time synchronization, operating system shutdown, and heartbeat

Windows Server 2008 R2

Drivers: IDE, SCSI, networking, video, and mouse

Services: operating system shutdown, time synchronization, data exchange, heartbeat, and online backup

Services: operating system shutdown, time synchronization, data exchange, heartbeat, and online backup

The above list is taken from the TechNet site. You can download the latest Linux Integration services from here.

Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3.0

It’s been a weeks’ time since the Microsoft BUILD conference and the Internet is still buzzing with talk of Windows Server 8. The next generation of Microsoft’s general purpose server operating system promises to be a revamped virtualization platform that introduces the world to Microsoft’s latest hypervisor, Hyper-V 3.0. Most of the reviews have already carried out covering the features in depth, but here is a summary of the interesting Hyper-V 3.0 features for those of you that haven’t had a chance to see them yet:

  • Up to 63-nodes, 4000 Virtual Machine Clusters
  • Up to 32 vCPUs, 512GB RAM, and 2TB of disk space per Virtual Machine
  • Increased Guest NUMA Support (memory segmentation for better performance)
  • New VHDX storage containers with 16TB of capacity
  • Support for concurrent Live Migrations using SAN (Storage Area Network) and DAS (Direct Attached Storage)
  • Support for NAS (Network Attached Storage) using SMB 2.2 and NFS Protocols
  • “Hyper-V Replica” built-in Asynchronous Virtual Machine Replication
  • Integrated Source and Destination De-depulication
  • Network Virtualization
  • Cisco Nexus Virtual Switching and Routing Infrastructure Support

While the list is certainly impressive and is sure to make many Windows system administrators giddy, this release marks something greater than just an incremental upgrade for the Windows Server platform. Since its beginnings, Hyper-V’s deliverables have been commendable but have lagged significantly behind competing products. While Microsoft has supported it with the robust System Center platform to great acclaim, the hypervisor itself has always been outmatched by its competitors. With this release of Hyper-V, Microsoft has finally started focusing of achieving feature-parity with competitor hypervisor offerings. The promised updates to the Windows Server platform represent a more mature approach to virtualization, providing a feature-rich and high-performance platform that starts with hypervisor itself, allowing it to stand on it’s own now more than ever. A recent review of the HYPER-V hypervisor can be read over here.

With the tight integration of System Center Product Suite HYPER-V ver 3.0 stands strong to deliver the customer requirements as well as their future demands. Customer demands of ease management, visibility of applications, and speedy provision of applications apart from hyper visor itself. This is where I see Microsoft seek truly into customer requirements and provide true support for their core business applications availability.

Securing HYPER-V environment & Best Practices

During monthly ITPro forum in Sri Lanka I’ve discuss the above mention topic. When Virtualization becomes commodity model in IT industry next concern would be security as  usual SmileDuring this presentation I’ve discuss about the importance of properly implementing the HYPER-V server and how we can use the tools and utilities give to secure the environment. HYPER_V architecture has been analyzed in detail level to understand how the components work with each other and where attacks can occur.

During this presentation I’ve highlighted the risk of running the HYPER-V role in a GUI method and the advantage on Server CORE. How to use the AZ Man and other Microsoft security tools to tight the security around the HYPER-V host and protect the guest machines.

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You can download the presentation file from here.

Important patch update for hyper-v environment

Microsoft recently announced a remediation process for once of the vulnerability found in HYPER-V. The identified vulnerability s per Microsoft words as follows,

“vulnerability could allow denial of service if a specially crafted packet is sent to the VMBus by an authenticated user in one of the guest virtual machines hosted by the Hyper-V server. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to send specially crafted content from a guest virtual machine to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.”

Out of the above I’ve highlighted the key things an end user need to give an attention about.

Patch has been already released and advised to apply he patch on the HYPER-V environment.

Expanding hyper-v interoperability with another Linux OS

Microsoft announced few weeks back it will  provide support running Cent OS in HYPER-V. Cento OS is a popular Linux OS used by Enterprise companies and hosters.

Microsoft Open Source Community (Port 25) team has taken great initiation by providing their contribution on developing the relevant ICS for this OS.

With that addition Microsoft official support has been expand to 3 Linux flavors (Suse Linux, Red Hat and Cent OS)

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.