Monday, April 29, 2013

Update Rollup 2 for VMM 2012 SP1

Last but not least, the Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager became available last week.

Important note:

You must uninstall Update Rollup 1 prior to installing Update Rollup 2.

If you install Update Rollup 2 from Microsoft Update Catalog without uninstalling Update Rollup 1, you should uninstall both 2 and 1 before installing 2 again.

Also note that Update Rollup 2 won’t be available through WSUS if Update Rollup 1 is installed.

After you have installed Update Rollup 2, you must update the VMM agents on your servers in Fabric. The servers will have a warning that requires your attention, and you can simply right click on the servers and proceed to update the agent. This won’t require any reboots.

Bug fixes:

A lot has been fixed related to networking, virtual network adapters, logical switches, uplink port profiles, extensions, classification and so on. I have encountered many of these bugs in the field myself and it’s great to have them solved.

Virtual Machine Manager Server (KB2826405) and Administration Console (KB2826392)

Issue 1

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system is missing from the Linux OS list.

Issue 2

A virtual machine cannot start after migration from Windows 7 to Windows 8 when the DiscardSavedState method is used.

Issue 3

A connection to the VMware virtual machine remote console session cannot be established.

Issue 4

Externally published VMNDs are filtered incorrectly.

Issue 5

When you remove a virtual switch extension property or edit a virtual switch extension manager connection string, a user-interface generated script also removes the HostGroups that are associated with VSEM.

Issue 6

UPPSet is not set on a physical network adapter when you add the network adapter to a team and when the network adapter is the first in the list of network adapters.

Issue 7

The default gateway is missing on a host virtual network adapter after you add a second physical network adapter to the logical switch.

Issue 8

Static IP pool that has the first address in a subnet fails for external network type.

Issue 9

VMM crashes during host refresher when VMM is unable to create a CimSession with the remote host.

Issue 10

Standard (legacy) virtual switch creation on Windows 8 hosts with management virtual network adapter does not preserve the IP properties of the physical network adapter.

Issue 11

The administration user interface crashes with a NullReferenceException error when you click Remediate on a host instead of a virtual network adapter.

Issue 12

The Virtual Machine Manager user interface displays a network adapter in a "Not Connected" state.

Issue 13

The Virtual Machine Manager stops responding with high CPU usage for five to ten minutes when you configure a VMND that has 2,000 network segments.

Issue 14

The host virtual network adapter property for a management adapter does not show port classification.

Issue 15

Live Migration fails at 26 percent when the network adapter is attached to an isolated virtual machine network.

Issue 16

The Virtual Machine Manager Service crashes when a virtual machine that does not have a port profile is migrated to a cluster by using a logical switch that has a default port profile set.

Issue 17

Running Dynamic Optimizer on a cluster with incompatible host CPUs causes a Virtual Machine Manager Service crash.

Issue 18

The Host refresher crashes for any host that has the RemoteFX role enabled.

Issue 19

The minimum memory for dynamic memory greater than 32GB is a security risk.

Issue 20

The status of the network adapter is displayed as Not Connected in Virtual Machine Manager.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mastering new Microsoft Technologies while doing what you love

A couple of weeks ago, I spent some nights at a boring hotel in the middle of Norway.
I was wrapping up on my work stuff, and had finally some time to dive into some of the new stuff that I have not had the time to, yet.
So to gain better understanding about PVLAN configuration, requirements and some of the news in DPM 2012 SP1, I headed over to the MS forums.
This is truly the best source of knowledge and experience an IT-pro working with Microsoft technologies can get.

Back in 2010 when I was working solely with virtualization and Hyper-V, I wanted to master the technology and get my certification. It was 3 exams back then to become MCITP: Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2. But guess what? There were no official preparation from Microsoft, like the usual books published by Microsoft Press.

How could I get the experience, the hands-on and so on to adopt the skills I needed?
I went to the MS learning overview of each certification to see what skills they was measuring during the exam. This was quite useful, so I could see the different categorization I needed to know.

Therefore, I had my own lab, some time off and decided to get it done. I participated so hard in the Hyper-V and Failover Cluster forums, that I actually was pinged from several forum users directly, for assistance.
It was a new and stimulated way of doing work. I solved real world problems and helped many users, customers and organizations out there through the community channels. One thing lead to another and I started my blog as well, to share knowledge directly from my experience.
The end of this story is that I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award, for helping the community.
And it felt good because I felt I had put some effort to achieve this.
However, it didn’t make me relax and jump away from the forums, because the forums is the channel that makes me continue to be sharp, having the experience before others and learning and teaching the wide world of community users.

Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and other bits of the social media are all very useful to help the community, but nothing, and I mean nothing beats the forums. It’s the best way of doing community work (both for you and the community) and also to learn new technology and products. I strongly encourage you to participate, share your experience, tips & tricks, and join the communication in the forums of your expertise.

If you have a favorite Microsoft product, or maybe just a subset of some features, there might just be a forum for that as well. Explore it and join and you are suddenly hooked ;-)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Closing the gap with Windows Azure Recovery Services

It has been a while since Windows Server 2012 had its launch, and System Center 2012 SP1 followed up in January this year. However, one of the most interesting features that was shipped with Hyper-V in Win 2012, wasn’t covered by System Center.

Or was it?

You would suspect that VMM would expose these settings, and let you configure Hyper-V Replica, but there was not any button in the GUI nor cmdlets for this.

However, Hyper-V and the Hyper-V Replica feature is fully exposed through Powershell, so it was very easy – and possible to achieve great workflows through the power of Orchestrator.

This is another feature (currently in preview) that is helping to mind the gap between private and public, and makes it easier than ever to have hybrid solutions. And when you think about it, a disaster recovery service is probably a good thing to have outside of any of your locations. Right?
Your management layer of Hyper-V Replica would be in Windows Azure, using both Hyper-V and VMM on-premise to give you the opportunity for disaster recovery.

Together with the backup to cloud offering in Azure, you are able to make the most of it while leveraging your System Center components.

If you click on the link above and read the instructions on Windows Azure, you can see that it is an agent that you deploy to your fabric infrastructure:

More info from the feature preview on Windows Azure: 
Hyper-V Recovery Manager (Preview)

Orchestrate protection and recovery of private clouds

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager can help you protect important services by coordinating the replication and recovery of System Center 2012 private clouds at a secondary location.

Automated protection

System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager private clouds can be protected through automating the replication of the virtual machines that compose them at a secondary location. The ongoing asynchronous replication of each VM is provided by Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replica and is monitored and coordinated by Hyper-V Recovery Manager.

Orchestrated Recovery

The service helps automate the orderly recovery in the event of a site outage at the primary datacenter. VMs can be brought up in an orchestrated fashion to help restore service quickly. This process can also be used for testing recovery, or temporarily transferring services.

To try this feature in preview, you will need a Windows Azure account. To begin your sign up, click here.

Note: This limited preview program is available to a small group of customers in specific geographic locations1 using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. However, we are always on the lookout for additional customers who will provide us with interesting and actionable feedback. If you would like to be considered for this program please complete the Microsoft survey located here. Thank you in advance for your responses! We will only be contacting those of you that have been accepted to participate.

1 Only customers located in the following countries will be considered: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Japan, India, New Zealand. Data for this Preview feature will be stored only in the Azure datacenters located in the United States.

Before I close this blog post, let me highlight something interesting in the VMM console, that you can use to keep track on your VMs that is configured in a recovery group:

These columns in the view will be very helpful.