Category Archives: Hyper-V

V2V Conversion for Free – VMware to Hyper-V

5nine Software has released the 2.0 version of its free V2V conversion tool ‘Easy converter’. It is able to convert VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V. Other conversion types are not supported.

New is this 2.0 release is added support for Hyper-V 2012 R2 as a target. It also supports simultaneous conversions of multiple VMs.

V2V Converter is a simple to use, basic converter tool targeted at the Small and medium business market. During the conversion process the source VMware virtual machine will needs to be shutdown.

The 2.0 version of 5nine V2V Converter supports conversion of VMware Virtual Machines with Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 (x86 and x64), and most of Advanced Server 2000, Ubuntu and CentOS configurations into VHD and VHDX file formats for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 SP1 and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012/R2.

Download 5nine V2V Easy Converter v2.0 from the company website athttp://www.5nine.com/vmware-hyper-v-v2v-conversion-free.aspx.

What’s new in Virtualisation for Server 2012 R2

Server 2012 marks some long awaited improvements in the virtualisation space (still a different league to VMware, but let’s remember the price makes it a strong competitor for some specific use cases)..

18th October 2013 marked the General Availability of Windows Server 2012 R2.The teams have accomplished an amazing set of features in this short release cycle and Brad’s post @http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2013/10/18/today-is-the-ga-for-the-cloud-os.aspx captures the investments made across the board. We encourage you to update to the latest version and share your feedback.

This post captures the top 8 improvements done to Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2. We will be diving deep into each of these features in the coming weeks through blog posts and TechNet articles.

Seamless Upgrade

You can upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2without having to re-IR your protected VMs. With new features such as cross-version live migration, it is easy to maintain your DR story across OS upgrades. You can also choose to upgrade your primary site and replica site at different times as Hyper-V Replica will replicate your virtual machines from a Windows Server 2012 environment to a Windows Server 2012 R2 environment.

30 second replication frequency

Windows Server 2012 allowed customers to replicate their virtual machines at a preset 5minute replication frequency. Our aspirations to bring down this replication frequency was backed by customer’s asks on providing the flexibility to set different replication frequencies to different virtual machines. With Windows Server 2012 R2, you can now asynchronously replicate your virtual machines at either 30second, 5mins or 15mins frequency.

30sec

 

Additional Recovery Points

Customers can now have a longer retention with 24 recovery points. These 24 (up from 16 in Windows Server 2012) recovery points are spaced at an hour’s interval.

image

 

Linux guest OS support

Hyper-V Replica, since it’s first release has been agnostic to the application and guest OS. However certain capabilities were unavailable on non-Windows guest OS in it’s initial avatar. With Windows Server 2012 R2, we are tightly integrated with non-Windows OS to provide file-system consistent snapshots and inject IP addresses as part of the failover workflow.

Extended Replication

You can now ‘extend’ your replica copy to a third site using the ‘Extended replication’ feature. The functionality provides an added layer of protection to recover from your disaster. You can now have a replica copy within your site (eg: ClusterA->ClusterB in your primary datacenter) and extend the replication for the protected VMs from ClusterB->ClusterC (in your secondary data center).

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To recover from a disaster in ClusterA, you can now quickly failover to the VMs in ClusterB and continue to protect them to ClusterC. More on extended replication capabilities in the coming weeks.

Performance Improvements

Significant architectural investments were made to lower the IOPS and storage resources required on the Replica server. The most important of these was to move away from snapshot-based recovery points to “undo logs” based recovery points. These changes have a profound impact on the way the system scales up and consumes resources, and will be covered in greater detail in the coming weeks.

Online Resize

In Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replica was closely integrated with the various Hyper-V features such as VM migration, storage migration etc. Windows Server 2012 R2 allows you to resize a running VM and if your VM is protected – you can continue to replicate the virtual machine without having to re-IR the VM.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager

We are also excited to announce the paid preview of Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM)(http://blogs.technet.com/b/scvmm/archive/2013/10/21/announcing-paid-preview-of-windows-azure-hyper-v-recovery-manager.aspx )This is a Windows Azure Service that allows you to manage and orchestrate various DR workflows between the primary and recovery datacenters. HRM does *not* replicate virtual machines to Windows Azure – your data is replicated directly between the primary and recovery datacenter. HRM is the disaster recovery “management head” which is offered as a service on Azure.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture and Mini-Posters

Microsoft has made available for download several posters detailing the key Hyper-V components of the upcoming version of Hyper-V coming with the release of Windows Server 2012 R2. The posters focus on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading a Microsoft private cloud.

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The following posters can be downloaded:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster (whole poster)

Mini-posters:

  • Generation 2 Virtual Machines
  • Hyper-V with Virtual Hard Disk Sharing
  • Online Virtual Hard Disk Resizing
  • Storage Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Enhanced Session Mode
  • Live Migration
  • Failover Clustering
  • Upgrading Your Private Cloud

Windows Server 2012 Licensing and Editions

Microsoft is releasing more information on a daily basis on Win Server 2012 including confirming RTM is on the way in August.

Quick overview of the versions here:

Edition Ideal for… High Level Feature
Comparison
Licensing Model Pricing
Open NL (US$)
Datacenter Highly virtualized
private & hybrid
cloud environments
Full Windows
Server functionality
with unlimited
virtual instances
Processor + CAL* $4,809**
Standard Low density or non-
virtualized
environments
Full Windows
Server functionality
with two virtual
instances
Processor + CAL* $882**
Essentials Small business
environments
Simpler interface,
pre-configured
connectivity to
cloud based services; no
virtualization rights
Server (25 User
Account Limit)
$425**
Foundation Economical general
purpose server
General purpose
server functionality
with no
virtualization rights
Server (15 User
Account Limit)
OEM Only

*CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server directly or indirectly. See theProduct Use Rights for details.

 **Pricing represents Open No Level (NL) ERP. For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller.

Source : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2012-editions.aspx?Search=true

Microsoft and VMware Compared Series–An Introduction

As expert providers of VMware’s vSphere server virtualisation platform and Microsoft’s Hyper-V with System Centre Virtual Machine Manager we are often asked to make comparisons between the two platforms.  The web is filled with propaganda from both organisations and there is little objective commentary.  In the ‘Microsoft and VMware Compared Series, we are going to provide an in-depth series of comparisons that show the bottom-up solutions compared side-by-side, showing the features, glossary, costs and issues of both solutions.  We are going to base this content initially on vSphere v4, but will be updating it to reflect any changes in v5 of the solution.

All of the blog posts relating to this will be titled ‘Microsoft and VMware Compared Series’ and we will issue a filtered view of the blog for them to be an online referral point for anyone trying to understand the differences.  We welcome objective commentary and will integrate suggestions or comments into the blog entries.

Fatal Error 205 installing System Centre VMM (Virtual machine manager)

One of the single most common errors I see with first time installers of System Centre VMM is the Fatal Error 205 and 99 times out of 100, its a very simple fix.  The computer account needs to be registered in the domain using the domains FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name).  To fix, place the VMM server into a workgroup, then re-add it to the domain – add it using the FQDN of the domain i.e. ‘VIRTUSOLVE.LOCAL’ instead of ‘VIRTUSOLVE’.

If adding to the domain using the FQDN fails you have either connectivity or DNS issues, check your IP settings and that you can ping a domain controller and you can ping the domain FQDN.

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2

From Jose Barreto’s Microsoft Blog,

SUMMARY – You no longer need Storage Server to turn Windows into an iSCSI target

LINKSDownload / Direct Link / More Info / Known Issues

The text in full

Introduction

For the last few years, I’ve been blogging about the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target and its many uses related to Windows Server Failover Clustering, Hyper-V and other server scenarios. Today, Microsoft has made this software publicly available to all users of Windows Server 2008 R2.

The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target has been available for production use as part of Windows Storage Server since early 2007. It has also been available for development and test use by MSDN and TechNet subscribers starting in May 2009. However, until now, there was no way to use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target in production on a regular server running Windows Server 2008 R2. This new download offers exactly that.

Now available as a public download, the software is essentially the same software that ships with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 and the public download package will be refreshed (kept in sync) with any software fixes and updates. Those updates are described at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg232597.aspx.

This release was preceded by intense testing by the Microsoft iSCSI Target team, especially in scenarios where the iSCSI Target is used with Hyper-V and with Windows Server Failover Clusters. We do imagine these to be amongst the most commons deployment scenarios.

Testing included running the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target in a two-node Failover Cluster and configuring 92 individual Hyper-V VMs, each running a data intensive application and storing data on a single node of that iSCSI Target cluster. The exciting part of the test was to force an unplanned failure of the iSCSI Target node being used by all the VMs and verify that we had a successful failover to the other node with all 92 VMs continuing to run the application without any interruption.

How to download and install

To download the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2, go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=45105d7f-8c6c-4666-a305-c8189062a0d0 and download a single file called “iSCSITargetDLC.EXE”. (Note: This was just released at 10AM PST on 04/04/2011, so the download might still be replicating to your closest download server. If the link does not work, try again later). This is a self-extracting archive that will show this screen when run:

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Select a destination folder and click “Install”. Once it finishes, you will find a few files available to you in  that folder:

Files Description
<folder>\autorun.inf
<folder>\bkgd-page-servers-dynagrid.jpg
<folder>\copyright.jpg
< folder>\Documentation
<folder>\Index.htm
<folder>\wsr2logo.bmp
Welcome page. Start with Index.htm
<folder>\Documentation\iSCSItarget_Gstart_R2.doc Getting Started Guide
<folder>\Documentation\iSCSI_33_relnotes.doc Release Notes
<folder>\x64\iscsitarget_public.msi Microsoft iSCSI Software Target installer (64-bit only)
<folder>\x64\iscsitargetClient_public.msi VSS and VDS providers for the iSCSI Target (64-bit)
<folder>\x86\iscsitargetClient_public.msi VSS and VDS providers for the iSCSI Target (32-bit)

 

If you click on the index.htm file on the main folder, you will see the welcome page with a few links to the items included:

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To install the iSCSI Target on a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2, simply run the “iscsitarget_public.msi” MSI file from a command line or right-click it on Windows Explorer and choose “Install”.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003?
A: No. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 can only be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)?
A: Yes. In fact, that’s what is recommended.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target on a Core install of Windows Server 2008 R2?
A: No. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 is only supported in a Full install.

Q: I don’t have a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2. Where can I get an evaluation copy?
A: You download an evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd459137.aspx

Q: Where is the x86 (32-bit) version of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3?
A: The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3, is provided in only in an x64 (64-bit) version, as is Windows Server 2008 R2,

Q: What are these “iSCSITargetClient” MSI files included in the download?
A: Those are the optional VSS and VDS providers for the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3. You should install them in the same computer that runs the iSCSI Initiator if you intend to use VSS or VDS. For details on VSS, see http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2007/10/10/the-basics-of-the-volume-shadow-copy-service-vss.aspx. For details on VDS, see http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2007/10/25/the-basics-of-the-virtual-disk-services-vds.aspx.

Q: Where is the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 documentation?
A: There is some documentation inside the package. Additional documentation is available on the web at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg232606.aspx

Q: Can I use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 as shared storage for a Windows Server Failover Cluster?
A: Yes. That is one of its most common uses.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 in a Hyper-V virtual machine?
A: Yes. We do it all the time.

Q: Can I use the downloaded Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 in my production environment?
A: Yes. Make sure to perform the proper evaluation and testing before deploying any software in a production environment. But you knew that already…

Q: What are the support policies for the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on Windows Server 2008 R2?
A: The support policies are listed at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg983493.aspx

Links

I would recommend that you download and read my previous blog posts about the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Please keep in mind that some of these posts mention previous versions of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target that ran on different Windows Server versions. The overall guidance, however, still applies.

Conclusion

I hope you are as excited as we are about this release. Download it and experiment with it. And don’t forget to post a comment about your experience or send us your feedback.