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Microsoft Virtualization November 10, 2014

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Virtualisation blogs, Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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This week I’m playing with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

To start I thought I’d list the different type of Microsoft Virtualization

Microsoft’s basic definitions of the different types of Virtualization

Server virtualization.

You can use server virtualization to host a large number of virtual machines. Server Virtualization uses the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V platform.

Desktop virtualization.

Desktop virtualization can refer to either client side virtualization, such as the Hyper-V client on a computer running Windows 8.1, or virtual desktop infrastructure, where the client computer operating systems run on a server virtualization host.

User state virtualization.

User state virtualization captures and centralizes application and Windows operating system settings for users. This enables users to sign in to any device while retaining their settings.

Presentation virtualization.

Presentation virtualization allows desktops and applications that are running on a Remote Desktop Services server to display on remote clients.

Network virtualization.

Network virtualization enables you to isolate networks used in server virtualization without requiring the implementation of virtual local area networks (VLANs).

Application virtualization.

You can use application virtualization to virtualize applications, which then enables applications to run in or be streamed to special containers on a host operating system.


Now I’ve got my MCSA 2012 time to start thinking about MCSE 2012 February 5, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Training, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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Now I have achieved my Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate in 2012, I now need to gain my Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert in Server Infrastructure.

To become an MCSE, first off we need to be an MCSA 2012, in a previous post I discussed my exam experience.

I have looked at the Microsoft Certification website in order to find my route to MCSE Server Infrastructure

This informs me that I now need to sit and pass two additional exams.

Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure       Exam 413

Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure            Exam 414

As a Microsoft Certified Trainer I have decided to use official Microsoft courseware and practical hands on experience in order to prepare and pass the exams.

The courseware I’ll be using is as follows.

Course 20413     Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure

Course 20414     Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure

I’m hoping to sit and pass these exams over the next few weeks.


My MCSA 2012 exam experience February 3, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Training, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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On Friday 1st February 2013 I sat and passed my 070-417 Microsoft exam, with the passing of the exam I upgraded my Windows 2008 Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate to become a Windows 2012 Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate.

Let me tell you about my experience.

My first step was to identify the path required to allow me to sit and pass the exam.

First port of call was Microsoft’s certification site, this lead me to the information that in order to become an MCSA in Windows 2012 I had to either pass three exams.

Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012                Exam 410

Administering Windows Server 2012                                       Exam 411

Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services     Exam 412

Or as my preferred route already being a MCSA 2008, just one exam.

Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012       Exam 417

To give an overview of the Exam 417, but not giving any questions away, the exam actually consists of three exams, the 410, 411 and 412, the exam consists of around 20 questions per exam and you must pass all 3 sections.

Being a Microsoft Certified Trainer I used the following materials for my preparation.

Course 20410     Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012

Course 20411     Administering Windows Server 2012

Course 20412     Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

Course 20417     Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

In addition I installed a little test lab of 3 Windows 2012 servers, I installed and played with all the features mentioned on all the courses.

Good luck if you intend to sit any of the exams, but of course if you prepare well, then luck is not an issue.



The new features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V December 9, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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One of the things I get asked regularly on the Windows Server Virtualisation course is.

“Do you have a list of the new features that come with Hyper-V 2012?”

I always answer, “Yes Microsoft’s website.”

They then ask. “Where?”

So here’s the link, to Microsoft’s TechNet article, this article tells you all about the new features in Hyper-V 2012

Starting your training journey with Microsoft Private Clouds November 15, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Training, Microsoft Virtualisation blogs, Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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Now anyone who has read any of my posts may think that perhaps I’m a little bit biased towards VMware.

Really though I’m not. (Was he being sarcastic? No he’s not).

One of the things I like about Microsoft virtualisation is the fact that Microsoft are trying to make virtualisation available to all.

I joke in my classes that we can all afford Solid State Disks and also spend hundreds of thousands on storage, but in the real world we can’t.

Microsoft has produced a wonderful white paper entitled.

Flexible Storage with Windows Server 2012

I can see that Windows 2012 Hyper-V alongside System Center 2012 becoming a very sound solution for virtualisation.

As such I have included a list of some very useful and informative courses on moving to a Microsoft powered private cloud.

Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012



Fibre Channel Virtualisation in Windows 2012 Hyper-V August 22, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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One of the issues with Hyper-V R2 that I come across is that in order to create VMs that are clustered we have to use iSCSI, you may say, “well that’s not a problem”, but to some people it is, they  have invested time, effort and money to create their shared storage.

Well, that has now been address with Windows 2012 Hyper-V

The product now supports Virtual Fibre Channel, this enables VMs to now use a Fibre Channel HBA, which in turn allows the VM to use Fibre Channel devices.

All we have to do is ensure that our Hyper-V host has a supported and compatible Fibre Channel HBA

Resource Metering in Windows 2012 Hyper-V August 21, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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Just a short one today relating to Windows 2012 Hyper-V new features.

Another new feature within Windows 2012 Hyper-V is the addition of Resource Metering.

Resource Metering allows administrators to track resource utilisation of individual virtual machines.

Why do it? Nice and straight forward really, in a cloud environment you may be hosting many virtual machines for your customers or internal cost centers, the ability to be able to meter the usage of virtual machines and the resources they consume will allow you to charge appropriately.

We enable resource metering on a per VM basis.

Memory improvements in Windows 2012 Hyper-V August 20, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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Within Windows 2012 Hyper-V we get numerous improvements, I’ve decided in this post to combine two of the features together, they are NUMA and memory improvements.

NUMA or Non-Uniform Memory Access is a hardware feature.

Under NUMA, a processor can access its own local memory faster than non-local memory, that is, memory local to another processor or memory shared between processors.

With NUMA integration the hypervisor can place virtual machines on cores that allow for good NUMA locality. Or if you like stick the VMs on cores with high speed RAM.

EG 2x quad core with 32GB of RAM per socket, a VM with 48GB of RAM and 2 vCPUs would be placed on the a single core on each of the 2 sockets, rather than on 2 cores on a single socket.

Memory Improvements

Dynamic memory is a feature that lets virtual machine memory to be allocated as necessary, rather than as a fixed amount. For example, rather than setting a virtual machine with a fixed 8 gigabytes (GB) of memory, which Hyper-V allocates to the virtual machine, an administrator can use dynamic memory to allocate a minimum and maximum amount.


In this scenario, the virtual machines requests only what it needs. Although Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 included the ability for virtual machines to use dynamic memory, you had to make any adjustments to these settings after you shut down the server.


Hyper-V 3.0 enables administrators to adjust dynamic memory settings on virtual machines that are running. You can use smart paging to configure start up memory, which differs from the minimum and maximum memory allocations.


When you use smart paging, the Hyper-V host uses memory paging to ensure that a virtual machine can start when there are not enough memory resources available to support start up, but enough to support the virtual machine’s minimum memory allocation.


The above gives us a huge improvement over how Hyper-V R1 used to allocate memory and this in turn gives us more efficient VMs.

Network bandwidth QoS in Hyper-V August 19, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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One of the problems with Virtualisation is potentially ensuring that a VM or process gets the resource that is required.

Networking is one the areas that causes concern, so wouldn’t it be nice if we could prioritise the networking traffic based on its function.

Well in Windows 2012 Hyper-V we can, we can use Quality of Service (QoS) bandwidth management; we can also define minimum and maximum network bandwidth for each Virtual Machine.

Below is a brief description of the technology and its uses

“Windows Server 2012 includes new Quality of Service (QoS) bandwidth management features that enable cloud hosting providers and enterprises to provide services that deliver predictable network performance to virtual machines on a server running Hyper-V. In Windows Server 2012, QoS supports the management of upper-allowed and lower-allowed bandwidth limits, referred to in this document as maximum bandwidth and minimum bandwidth. Windows Server 2012 also takes advantage of data centre bridging (DCB)-capable hardware to converge multiple types of network traffic on a single network adapter with a guaranteed level of service to each type. With Windows PowerShell, you can configure all these new features manually or enable automation in a script to manage a group of servers, regardless of whether they stand alone or are joined to a domain.

For example, cloud hosting providers want to use servers running Hyper-V to host customers and still guarantee a specific level of performance based on service level agreements (SLAs). They want to ensure that no customer is impacted or compromised by other customers on their shared infrastructure, which includes computing, storage, and network resources. Likewise, enterprises have similar requirements. They want to run multiple application servers on a server running Hyper-V and be confident that each application server delivers predictable performance. Lack of performance predictability often drives administrators to put fewer virtual machines on a capable server or simply avoid virtualization, causing them to spend more money on physical equipment and infrastructure.

Furthermore, most cloud hosting providers and enterprises today use a dedicated network adapter and a dedicated subnet for a specific type of workload such as storage or live migration to achieve network performance isolation on a server running Hyper-V. Although this deployment strategy works for those using 1-gigabit Ethernet network adapters, it becomes impractical for those who are using or plan to use 10-gigabit Ethernet network adapters. Not only does one 10-gigabit Ethernet network adapter (or two for high availability) already provide sufficient bandwidth for all the workloads on a server running Hyper-V in most deployments, but 10-gigabit Ethernet network adapters and switches are considerably more expensive than their 1-gigabit Ethernet counterparts. To best utilize 10-gigabit Ethernet hardware, a server running Hyper-V requires new capabilities to manage bandwidth.”


PowerShell in Windows 2012 Hyper-V August 16, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Windows 2012 Hyper-V.
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With Windows Server 2012 we get a new version of Hyper-V.

As a best practice Microsoft recommend that you install Hyper-V on Server Core. Not a problem.

PowerShell allows us to administer, configure and manage our Hyper-V install. It also allows us to script complex tasks.

Anyone that had used Exchange will know how complex these commands can be.

Well with Hyper-V in 2012 we get over 100 Cmdlets which are used for managing not only the host, but networking, storage and VMs.

I’m not going to list them all, instead here’s a link to the Hyper-V Cmdlets

Have a search through and then think about your most common tasks that you perform on a daily basis………………………………………….. Great now think how much easier your day would be if you created your own little script library to perform those tasks.