Happy New Year … Not!
With the New Year comes a new class of malicious attack that can impact IT systems. This time, the attack is hardware based, affecting mostly Intel based systems, and to some extent, AMD systems as well.
Here is a list of resources that highlight what it is all about and how to mitigate against this new threat. In the words of Microsoft, “Don’t panic.”
I spoke with Robert Crane from CIAOPS – Need to Know podcasts on the options that are available to small businesses in creating a cost effective hybrid IT solution.
Listen to the podcast here – http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-78-boon-tee/
Microsoft have now made it possible to protect your Virtual Machines running on a Hyper-V server with Windows Server 2012 R2 by replicating them to Azure. In the past, this was only available for larger organizations that had access to System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Now, SMBs can take advantage of this service out of the box from Hyper-V without the need to purchase the SCVMM components.
Here is the link to the documentation on how to set this up – http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/hyper-v-recovery-manager-hypervsite/
Altaro have put out a blog on 12 of the common Hyper-V deployment mistakes that people make. I think I have done a few of these before!
- Mis-Provisioning Resources in Hyper-V
- Improper Balance of CPU and Memory
- Improper Balance of Networked Storage and Network Connectivity
- Improper Balance of SSD and Spinning Disks
- Improper Balance of Networking Resources
- Improper Focus of Resources
- Creating Too Many Networks and/or Virtual Adapters
- Creating Too Many Virtual Switches
- Optimizing Page Files
- Not Leveraging Dynamic Memory
- Leaving Default VM Configurations
- Not Troubleshooting the Right Thing
- Overloading the Management Operating System
- Leaving the Management OS in Workgroup Mode When there is a Perfectly Good AD Domain Available
- Not Testing
- Avoiding PowerShell
- Not Figuring Out Licensing in Advance
Read the entire article here – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/common-hyper-v-deployment-mistakes/
Microsoft has just released version 3 of their Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). This is a standalone tool that will covert virtual machines, hosts and physical machines to Hyper-V.
The new features of MVMC 3.0 include:
- Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Microsoft Azure.
- Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
- Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
- Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts.
- Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
- Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
- Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
- Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion.
- Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems:
-Windows Server® 2012 R2
-Windows Server® 2012
-Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
- Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
- Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.0, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V.
- Has a wizard-driven GUI, which simplifies performing virtual machine conversions.
- Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
- Important MVMC takes a snapshot of the virtual machine that you are converting before you uninstall VMware Tools, and then shuts down the source machine to preserve state during conversion. The virtual machine is restored to its previous state after the source disks that are attached to the virtual machine are successfully copied to the machine where the conversion process is run. At that point, the source machine in VMware can be turned on, if required.
- Important MVMC does not uninstall VMware Tools in an offline conversion. Instead, it disables VMware services, drivers, and programs only for Windows Server guest operating systems. For file conversions with Linux guest operating systems, VMware Tools are not disabled or uninstalled. We highly recommend that you manually uninstall VMware Tools when you convert an offline virtual machine.
- Supports Windows Server and Linux guest operating system conversion. For more details, see the section “Supported Configurations for Virtual Machine Conversion” in this guide.
- Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).
You can download the tool here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497
If you want to have a play with the various new preview releases of Windows, here are the links to resources and information on where to download these previews.
If you have a MSDN or Microsoft Azure subscription, you can get them directly via the respective site portals.
Otherwise, here are the public links.
Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V Backup, have put out a really good eBook detailing how you can improve the core areas of your Hyper-V environment.
From the website, the eBook will help you master Hyper-V:
- How to secure your Hyper-V deployment beyond the basics, managing access to Virtual Machine functions, applying Group Policy, best practices on antimalware, and more
- How to get the most out of Hyper-V Manager, setting up Native Network Teams and how Hyper-V’s Virtual Switches work
- Understanding the concept of vCPUs and how to undertake capacity planning for Hyper-V
- Learn the proper use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks, how they operate and common myths surrounding the topic
- How to connect storage to Hyper-V, including a variety of options as well as best practices.
Here is a list of the chapters.
- Chapter 1: Seven Keys to Hyper-V Security
- Chapter 2: Hyper-V Manager – An Introduction
- Chapter 3: Set Up Native Network Teams for Hyper-V
- Chapter 4: A Quick Guide to Hyper-V’s Virtual Switch
- Chapter 5: Hyper-V Virtual CPUs
- Chapter 6: Proper Use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks
- Chapter 7: Connecting Hyper-V to Storage
You can download the eBook here – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/lp/ebook/7-key-areas-improving-hyper-v-guide-ebook.php.
*Thanks to Dr Tom Schinder for the link!
Here is a cool script that mails Replication State, Replication Health and resource usage by virtual machines. The report is produced in a table format, emails to one or more recipients and can be scheduled as a task.
The script was written by Sangeeth on the Microsoft Virtualization Team and can be downloaded for free here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Replication-Health-Mailer-4066632c
The Windows Virtualization Team have set up a wiki to track and assist in troubleshooting issues in Hyper-V Replica. The guide contains links and resources to common Hyper-V Replica failure scenarios.
Here is the link – http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/21948.hyper-v-replica-troubleshooting-guide.aspx
Join me this coming Thursday 20 March 2014 for an online presentation “Virtualization with Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials for Small Business.” You can register for the session here – https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032577184&Culture=en-AU
I will be presenting the session in conjunction with the MVP Community Camp 2014, where MVPs from around the Asia Pacific Region will present online and live sessions on a plethora of topics.
Join us on Saturday 22 March 2014, if you are in any major city for live sessions – Especially if you live in Adelaide!
For more information, visit http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/ComCamp2014.aspx to register.