Announcing The 6th Know-Your-Tech Session Focused on #HyperV #Azure #Microsoft #WS2016

Know-Your-Tech_May25,2015

Hello folks,

I am glad to announce that I am presenting at the 6th Know-Your-Tech session focused on Hyper-V. The Microsoft Know-Your-Tech is a series of technical sessions conducted by Microsoft in United Arab Emirates focused on different technologies, and purposely capped to just limited number of attendees so that nobody gets lost in the crowd. The presenter have time to meet and answer your questions.

The 6th Microsoft Tech Days will take place on May 25th, 2015 from 10.00AM to 4.00PM at the Sofitel Hotel, Abu Dhabi.

Make sure to book your seat now.

Looking forward to see you in the clouds Smile

Cheers,
-Charbel

Posted in Microsoft, TechDays Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

#Hyper-V Security Best Practices for Hosting, VDI and Service Providers #HyperV #5nine @5nine_Software

Do you care about security? of course you do Winking smile

So…

Many hosting, VDI and service providers have embraced virtualization and now see its incredible benefits! However, they often trust their tenants too much and lack appropriate security protection for viruses, malware, and other types of distributed attacks. Do you know the best way to avoid these security breaches?

Join 5nine’s virtualization expert Symon Perriman and Alex Karavanov for free Webinar to learn the best practices for providing multi-layered and multi-tenant protection and compliance for Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and Azure Pack (WAP).

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See how agentless antivirus, antimalware, intrusion detection, and virtual firewalls can ensure complete traffic control and isolation between VMs and hosts. Learn how to provide the greatest security possible to admins and tenants in datacenters of all sizes!

Enjoy!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in 5nine, Hyper-V Tagged with: , , ,

#StarWind News May 2015 #HyperV @StarWind

Hello folks,

Here are the recent news from StarWind.

1) Tap Room Meeting: The Ace-High Hyper-V companion!

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Date: 21 May, 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm BST

Host: Anatoly Vilchinsky, Head of Support Department, StarWind Software Inc.

Howdy, partners!
Calm down your canister, wet your whistle with bottled courage and sit back while you’ll listen to good ‘ol story of the corned bartender.
He’ll tell you of the orphaned Hyper-V boy, with no chinks in pockets, who found his family with StarWind.

Order your table now!

2) Webinar: Complete Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions for SMBs/ROBOs

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Date: 27 May 2015, 11:30 am PT/ 2:30 pm ET

Speakers:

Ryan Brown, CEO, xByte Technologies
Alexander Karavanov, Director of Sales Engineering, 5nine Software
Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software

If your organization is evaluating or starting a Hyper-V deployment, join this webinar to hear the most important considerations when selecting your hardware, storage, management and security solutions. Get best practices from virtualization experts from StarWind, 5nine Software and xByte Technologies to understand how to optimize your hosts, centrally manage and protect your virtualized resources, and get the best performance and availability out of your storage. Consider Hyper-Converged Platform as a simplest step into virtualization world, associated with more than 50% savings and independence from hardware/software vendors.

Attend the webinar and win one of the five books “Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide” written by Aidan Finn.

Register now!

3) Watch the recorded webinar on “Make Your Storage Work For You: ‪‎VAAI and ‪ODX offload up to 30% of disk operations to the SAN” held on the Redmond Magazine platform!
This webinar is specially designed for IT Infrastructure Managers & Administrators who are familiar with such problems as Hypervisor CPU and Networking overhead usually occurring during VM provisioning, migration or cloning operations.
Having watched the recorded version of it, you will learn how to enhance the storage system performance and increase VM density with Hyper-V and vSphere with the use of Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) and APIs for Array Integration (VAAI).

4) At this topnotch webinar “Critical SQL Server Databases: Provide HA with SQL Server Failover Clustering and Cluster Shared Volumes” the speakers (Edwin Sarmiento, Microsoft SQL Server MVP and Microsoft Certified Master & Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software Inc.) were focusing on:

– Deep understanding of High Availability with an emphasize on HA features available in SQL server;
– “0” downtime requirements and an advice on how to lead effective communication with your management who pushes you on reaching one;
– Explaining how to easily create a new storage cluster having
‪StarWind Virtual SAN and SQL server in place.
– And many more….

Check out the recorded version of it here!

5) Technical Paper: StarWind Virtual SAN® VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration) Configuration & Performance Guide
This document is aimed to describe how to enable vStorage APIs for Array Integration in the system in order to decrease the workload on the network part and offload certain ammount of hypervisor operations to the storage side. Additionaly it explains how to verify if VAAI works properly.

Check it out here

Enjoy!

Cheers,
//Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, StarWind Tagged with: , ,

Windows Server Has A New User Voice Page #Virtualization #Clustering #Storage #Networking #NanoServer #Linux

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Hello folks,

I am glad to share with you that Windows Server has a new User Voice page to submit your general feedback here:

http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295047-general-feedback

However for specific feedback, you can submit your voice using the following subsections:

Clustering: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295074-clustering

Storage: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295056-storage

Virtualization: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295050-virtualization

Networking: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295059-networking

Nano Server: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295068-nano-server

Linux Support: http://windowsserver.uservoice.com/forums/295062-linux-support

Please feel free to forward this links to your customers, partners, friends and enthusiasts.

This is a great way to send your feedback and help improving Windows Server 2016!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Windows Server Tagged with: , , , , , ,

What’s New In Windows Server Hyper-V Technical Preview 2? #HyperV #WS2016

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-01

Hello folks,

Last October, Microsoft released the first Windows Server Technical Preview for the next release of Windows Server.

After nearly 7 months, Microsoft released the second Windows Server Technical Preview 2 which the final official name will be Windows Server 2016.

At Microsoft Ignite, Ben Armstrong and Sarah Cooley, Principal Program Manager on the Hyper-V team, delivered a fantastic session and talked about the new features which are coming in the next release of Windows Server Hyper-V 2016. This is a detailed view of everything you can play now with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016 TP2. To be clear, it’s not a complete overview of everything that will be in the final release. This is what you can realistically do now in Technical Preview 2 build. I expect additional features to be included in the final release as well.

Put your seat belt and let’s dive into the new Hyper-V features in Windows Server Technical Preview 2.

Windows 10

Many of the new features in Hyper-V 2016 will be available in Windows 10 as well.

Hyper-V on Nano Server

New Windows Server installation option. It’s a Cloud-first refactoring essential for infrastructure and application OS requirements. The Server roles and features enabled for Nano Server targeting at the moment will be Hyper-V clustering and storage which they are the two key Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) scenarios.

Containers

A new approach to build, ship, deploy, and instantiate applications. Hyper-V Containers will be coming out in the near future.

Virtual Machine Protection

Trust is the biggest blocker to cloud computing adaption let’s be honest. All the awesome technology that Microsoft is doing in Azure and are enabled through Hyper-V and the cloud platform. The number number one thing that is holding the customer back is the issue of trust, you want to know that your data is safe, you want to know that no one else is accessing it, you want to know that it hasn’t been fiddled with, it hasn’t been compromised. the customers want to know that their data is secure whatsoever. You are are the only person who has access to that data!

So Microsoft in the next release in Windows Server they are doing a lot of work in the Hyper-V core platform to start providing these guarantees. Even if you trust or you don’t trust your IT administrator, no one can access your data!

What is the technology behind Virtual Machine Protection: A virtual TPM (Trusted Platform Module) can be injected into a VM. Then you can enable BiLocker in the VM and protect your data from anyone outside of the VM. So you can now have a virtual machine running on someone’s else Hyper-V server or on someone’s else infrastructure and you can know that you are the only one who has access to that data. However on the Hardware side, you need TPM Version 2.0 to be installed on the physical host. This is really an exciting technology!

Secure boot support for Linux virtual machines, works now with Ubuntu 14.04 or later, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12. The secure boot is an amazing feature that is so underrated in the world today. If you look at security issues at large, one of the biggest challenges out there is malware, and root kits. And one of the challenges is if you get compromised kernel mode code on a system there is a pretty much nothing you can do to bring that system back, so at that stage your only option is to format and reinstall the system Sad smile

What secure boot does is it allows the hardware to verify that the kernel mode code is uncompromised. Microsoft in Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced Generation 2 virtual machines that support secure boot for Windows guest operating system so you could have this functionality and know that your workloads were secure. So now we have secure boot for Linux Virtual machines as well.

In order to enable secure boot for Linux VMs, you need to change the secure boot Template for the virtual machine, you can do this with PowerShell:

Shields Virtual Machines

Shielded Virtual Machines can only run in fabrics that are designated as owners of that virtual machine. Shielded Virtual Machines will need to be encrypted (by BitLocker or other means) in order to ensure that only the designated owners can run this virtual machine. You can convert a running virtual machine into a Shielded Virtual Machined.

Distributed Storage QoS

Leveraging Scale-Out File Server to allow you to:

Define IOPs reserves for important virtual hard disk

Define a IOPs reserve and limit that is shared by a group of virtual machines / virtual hard disks

You can find the complete details here

Host Resource Protection

Dynamically identify virtual machines that are not “playing well” and reduce their resource allocation. So what Microsoft actually done is to build heuristics in where they’ve identified patterns of access that should never happen if someone is just running standard Windows applications or Linux applications. So Host Resource Protection can dynamically detect that malicious VM and they will throttle back the resource on that evil virtual machine to reduce it’s impact on the system until it behavior returns to normal Winking smile

This is something that you can enable or disable on Hyper-V in the server, it’s enabled by default on Windows Server Technical Preview 2.

Storage and Cluster Resiliency

There are two features in Windows Server Technical Preview 2 to handle transitory failures and be more resilient:

Virtual Machine Storage Resiliency
Storage fabric outage no longer means that virtual machines crash.
Virtual machines pause and resume automatically in response to storage fabric problems.

Virtual Machine Cluster Resiliency
VMs continue to run even when a node falls out of cluster membership
Resiliency to transient failures
Repeat offenders are “quarantined”

In Windows Server 2012 R2, we had a feature in the Scale-Out File Server called resilient file handles, back then resilient file handles give us protection against really short storage outage. If you have a glitch in the system that causes storage to go out for 30 or 40 seconds, resilient file handles will have you covered. The activity will be buffered up and wait for the storage to come back, and then reconnect. The problem is, if that storage outage goes over 60 seconds! In Windows Server 2021 R2 if we have a storage outage that goes over 60 seconds, resilient file handles will go up to 60 seconds and just return I/O failure back to the guest. The result is that the VM just crashes!

So with the Storage Resiliency feature now when the resilient file handle expires and we get that storage failure, rather then returning the I/O failure to the guest, the virtual machine will be automatically paused, and put it in a special state to indicate to you that like there’s a disk failure, the VM will be suspended to make sure it doesn’t crash. The VM will report Disk(s) encountered critical IO errors.

In the other hand, what does clustering do when you have a transitory failure in your network. In Windows Server 2012 R2 when Hyper-V Cluster see these transitory failures, the moment that clustering can’t talk to a node it assumes all the virtual machines are shot in the head and it starts failing them across to other nodes in the cluster. However in Windows Server 2016 Microsoft are changing that, and all the behavior around that. Now what will happen if you have a transient network failure, the cluster node will be put into an isolated state. The virtual machines will report as unmonitored, and then wait for 4 minutes by default to see if the node comes back naturally (This value is configurable, you can tune it to match your environment), and if it comes back in under four minutes, the cluster node will join back to the cluster and heal automatically. But what if you have a cluster node that is having intermittent problems (The network is flapping, the node is going in and out of the cluster continuously), where if that happens, the cluster will detect that and say hey Mr. Node X, you went into isolated state too many times. Then the cluster will mark that node as quarantined, and when it comes back all virtual machines will be live migrated off of it and no workload will be put on that cluster node until it looks like it’s healthy again.

Shared VHDX

Shared VHDX is a great feature that was introduced in Windows 2012 R2, it’s very easy to set up and do guest clustering. However when you create a guest cluster with shared VHDX you pretty much all the limitations of any other disk cluster with the exception it’s just using VHDX, but with guest clusters you cannot do host-level backup as you do with the physical clusters, you cannot do online resize for the shared VHDX, you cannot do storage live migration for the shared VHDX, so all these great features aren’t there, however in Windows Server 2016 TP2 Microsoft are working hard to start bringing all those capabilities back even when you are using shared VHDX.

There are two big things that have been introduced in TP2, the first one is allowing you to do host-based backup without any agent in the guest, so you can backup the guest clusters with shared VHDX, this is fantastic! The second one is you can online resize shared VHDX while the guest cluster is running Open-mouthed smile

The hot/add of shared VHDX was supported in Windows Server 2012 R2, however in Windows Server 2016 a Shared Drive has it’s own category under the SCSI Controller when you to Add a Shared virtual hard disk.

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-02

There is is a new type of VHD file that Microsoft introduced called VHD Set (VHDS) and it’s necessary for some of the new shared VHDX functionality that we have. The Shared VHDX file still exists, so if you have existing guest clusters using VHDX file you can continue to use those VHDX files for guest clusters. However, you will not be able to do the online resize and the host based backup. The good news that Microsoft will provide tools to do a very quick and easy upgrade from a VHDX, to a VHDS file so you can take advantage of that.

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-05

Hyper-V Replica Hot Add/Remove

We love Hyper-V Replica, but the down side was if you want to hot add and remove disks to a replica virtual machine, then it gets all strange and then you have to redo the initial old Sync and send all the data over and it’s a real pain.

So the medicine is built-in Windows Server 2016 to take away that pain Winking smile

When you add a new virtual hard disk to a virtual machine that is being replicated – it is automatically added to the no-replicated set. This set can be updated online with PowerShell.

You can find the complete details here

Runtime Resize of Memory

Dynamic memory is great, but more can be done right Winking smile, in Windows Server Technical Preview 2 / Windows 10 guests, you can now increase and decrease the memory assigned to virtual machines while they are running.

You can find the complete details here

Hot Add/Remove Network Adapters

This is only supported for Generation 2 VMs.

You can find the complete details here

Rolling Cluster Upgrade

Seamless Zero Downtime Rolling Clustering Upgrades, you can take a cluster at any size running 2012 R2 and you can go through one node at a time upgrade to Windows Server 2016 and then live migrate VMs around with no new hardware with no downtime, and at any stage you can roll back, because we support live migration in both directions, you can actually even entirely upgrade a cluster to Windows Server 2016, and then you can roll it back to 2012 R2, and your virtual machines will still running the whole time, but the most important without upgrading the Cluster Functional Level or the VM version. The process any size cluster 3 nodes, pick a node, you want evict that node from the cluster, then format, reinstall Windows Server 2016, join it to the cluster, and rinse and repeat.

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New VM Upgrade Process

In the previous versions of Hyper-V, whenever you upgraded your host to a new release, the moment Hyper-V sees your virtual machines, it will be upgraded automatically behind the scenes.

However this has been changed in the next release of Windows Server, Hyper-V will not automatically upgrade your virtual machines. The upgrade of a virtual machine is a manual operation that is separate from upgrading the host. This gives you the flexibility to move individual virtual machines back to earlier versions, until they have been manually upgraded. This is what called the point of no return.

Version 5.0 is the configuration version of Windows Server 2012 R2. Version 2.1a was for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. The configuration version was always there for internal usage based on the functionality and not based on the release, and it was not displayed to users. In Technical Preview 2 the version is 6.2.

The process to upgrade a virtual machine version requires to shutdown the VM, and do a manual upgrade. This is a one-way process so you can either do this through PowerShell or through the UI, and in the UI you can see we have got this Upgrade Configuration Version.

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To upgrade the VM Configuration File through PowerShell, you need to run the following cmdlet from an elevated Windows PowerShell:

So why you would upgrade and why would you keep the same. Well, obviously you need to upgrade to get all new features and functionality. You are only going to get those new features if you are running a 6.2 virtual machine. On the flip side, if you keep a virtual machine at 5.0, we keep everything compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2. We keep the configuration compatible, we keep the safe state compatible, we keep the checkpoints compatible. So even if you are not doing a rolling cluster upgrade, if you just have an environment where you have some 2012 R2 servers and some Windows Server 2016 servers and you want to move virtual machines between those from time to time, then just keep it at version 5.0, and you can always freely move those virtual machines back and forth. 

Production Checkpoints

Delivers the same Checkpoint experience that you had in Windows Server 2012 R2 – but now fully supported for Production Environments. Users VSS instead of Saved State to create checkpoint. Restoring a checkpoint is just like restoring a system backup.

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You can find the complete details here

PowerShell Direct

You can now script PowerShell in the Guest OS directly from the Host OS. This is just awesome Open-mouthed smile

No need to configure PowerShell Remoting, or even have network connectivity, but still need to have guest credentials. You can completely configure a Guest OS directly from the host with no network access.

To connect and inject PowerShell scripts into the guest OS without network access, you need to run the following cmdlet from an elevated Windows PowerShell on the host:

ReFS Accelerated VHDX Operations

Taking advantage of an intelligent file system for instant fixed VHDX disk creation and instant disk merge operations.

So in the Windows Server Technical Preview 2 build, if you create an ReFS volume and you use it to run your virtual machines on, you will get instant fix disk creation and instant disk merge on your virtual hard drives. This is amazing powerful stuff! 

Hyper-V Manager and PoSh Improvements

Multiple improvements to make it easier to remotely manage and troubleshoot Hyper-V Servers:

Support for alternate credentials
Connecting via IP address
Connecting via WinRM

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Cross-Version Management

You can manage Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts with Hyper-V Manager UI in Windows Server 2016 (Single Console). Hyper-V PowerShell in Windows 10 / Sever 2016 and 2012 R2 module included in-box Version 1.1 and Version 2.0.

Integration Services

In Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2, Virtual Machine Servicing for VM drivers (integration services) get updated with each host release. This require that VM driver version matches the host and the drivers hipped with the Host Operating System.

However in Windows Server 2016 the Integration Services Setup Disk is absolutely gone.

Because when your deployment get bigger, it became increasingly more difficult to update the integration components by logging into the virtual machine, mounting a DVD opening the DVD installing the integration components, the entire process just became a hassle.

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-04

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-06

So what Microsoft have done in Windows Server Technical Preview, Windows 10 and going forward is the integration components are actually available through Windows update, they are set as a critical update, they apply to virtual machines running on the correct version of Hyper-V they just all handle it for you as long as you are getting updates inside your virtual machine, they are there, you can install them using WSUS or through normal windows updates to keep your virtual machines up to date.

Evolving Hyper-V Backup

New architecture to improve reliability, scale and performance.

Decoupling backing up virtual machines from backing up the underlying storage. No longer dependent on hardware snapshots for core backup functionality, but still able to take advantage of hardware capabilities when they are present.

Microsoft is building a change block tracking into the platform. What this means is that it’s no longer necessary for backup partners to develop kernel mode filters that run in the parent partition. This means you have less stuff stuff installed in your parent partition, and increases the reliability of the system overall.   

VM Configuration Changes

Microsoft in Windows Server technical preview they have introduced a new configuration file format for Virtual Machines which is designed to increase the efficiency of reading and writing virtual machine configuration data. It is also designed to reduce the potential for data corruption in the event of a storage failure. The new configuration files use the .VMCX extension (Replaced the old .XML files) for virtual machine configuration data, and the .VMRS extension (Replaced the old .VSV/.BIN files) for VM runtime state data.

What'sNewInHyperV-TPv2-10

So we are moving away from the XML format to a binary format. Thus you cannot open and edit the XML file anymore Winking smile. However, you should be able to do everything through PowerShell.

Hyper-V Cluster Management

Providing a single view of an entire Hyper-V cluster through WMI. You can manage an entire Hyper-V cluster like it were just one big Hyper-V Server.

So for example with Get-VM, if you actually point it to a single Hyper-V host you get all the virtual machines on that particular host, however if you point it at your Hyper-V cluster, what’s going to do, it’s going to return all the virtual machines on that cluster, so you can take output and pipe it into all various PowerShell commands, makes it a lot easier to start operating on a cluster of Hyper-V using PowerShell.

Hypervisor Power Management Improvements

Updated hypervisor power management model to support new modes of power management.

So now you can now Turn on Hyper-V on your Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet and not to worry about your battery uptime, the Connected Standby just works in Windows 10 and later on all devices that support connected standby mode.

RemoteFX Improvements

Support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1 API. And increased the amount of vRAM that you can configure for it.

I hope this blog post gave you enough details about the new features that will be available to you in the next release of Windows Server 2016.

Until then… enjoy your day!

Cheers,
//Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Windows Server Hyper-V 2016 Tagged with: , , , , ,

Day Against DRM Offer #Packt @PacktPub #PacktPub

Pack_DRM_Banner_2015

 

Hello folks,

Packt celebrates International Day Against DRM, May 6th 2015!

Packt Publishing firmly believes that you should be able to read and interact with your content when you want, where you want, and how you want – to that end they have been advocates of DRM-free content since their very first eBook was published back in 2004.

This year, to demonstrate their continuing support for Day Against DRM, Packt is offering all its DRM-free content at $10 for 24 hours only on May 6th – with more than 3000 eBooks and 100 Videos available across the publisher’s website www.packtpub.com, there’s plenty to discover, whatever you’re interested in.

“The top priority at Packt has always been to meet the evolving needs of developers in the most practical way possible, while at the same time protecting the hard work of our authors. DRM-free content continues to be instrumental in making that happen, providing the flexibility and freedom that is essential for an efficient and enhanced learning experience. That’s why they’ve been DRM-free from the beginning – They never put limits on the innovation of our users.”

– Dave Maclean, CEO

Advocates of Day Against DRM are invited to spread the word and celebrate on May 6th by exploring the full range of DRM-free content at www.packtpub.com – all eBooks and Videos will be $10 for 24 hours, including the latest hot titles.

This is fantastic offer! so make sure to get the benefit and grab your favorites eBooks and Videos.

Enjoy reading!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Books, Windows Server, Windows Server 2012 R2 Tagged with: , , ,

How To Enable & Configure VMQ/dVMQ on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Below Ten Gig Network Adapters #HyperV #Vmq #vRSS

This post was edited/updated on 04/May/2015.

The Microsoft guidance is that VMQ should be off on 1Gbps NICs. There is a known problem with the Broadcom 1Gb VMQ implementation that is supposedly fixed in the latest drivers. Please make sure that all your drivers are up-to-date.

Hello folks,

Back to basics: What is Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ), why do you need it and why you should enable it?

Virtual Machine Queue or dynamic VMQ is a mechanism for mapping physical queues in a physical NIC to the virtual NIC (vNIC) or virtual machine NIC (vmNIC) in Parent partition or Guest OS. This mapping makes the handling of network traffic more efficient. The increased efficiency results in less CPU time in the parent partition and reduced latency of network traffic.

VMQ spreads the traffic per vmNIC/vNIC, and each VMQ can use at most one logical CPU in the host, in other words VMQ distributes traffic equally amongst multiple guests (VMs) on a single host with a vSwitch (1 core per vmNIC/vNIC).

Note: The vNIC means a host partition Virtual NIC of the Virtual Switch in the Management OS, and the vmNIC is the synthetic NIC inside a Virtual Machine.    

VMQ is auto enabled by default on Windows Server machines when a vSwitch is created with 10Gig network adapters and above, and it’s useful when hosting many VMs on the same physical host.

The below figure is showing the ingress traffic with VMQ enabled for virtual machines.

image

[VMQ incoming traffic flow for virtual machines – source Microsoft]

When using 1Gig network adapters VMQ is disabled by default, because Microsoft don’t see any performance benefit to VMQ on 1Gig NICs, and one CPU/Core can keep up with 1Gig network traffic without any problem.

As I mentioned above with VMQ disabled all network traffic for vmNIC has to be handled by a single core/CPU, however with VMQ enabled and configured the network traffic is distributed across multiple CPUs automatically.

Now what happened if you have a large number of Web Servers VMs on a host with 2 eight core processors or more and with large amount of memory but you are limited by the physical NICs with 1Gig only?

The answer is…

VMQ and vRSS better together Smile

As I demonstrated in a previous blog posts, Post I and Post II, Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced a new feature called Virtual Receive Side Scaling (vRSS). This feature works with VMQ to distribute the CPU workload of receive network traffic across multiple (vCPUs) inside the VM. This effectively eliminates the CPU core bottleneck that we experienced with a single vmNIC. To take the full advantage of this feature both the host and the guest need to be Windows Server 2012 R2. As a result VMQ needs to be enabled on the physical host and RSS enabled inside the virtual machine, but until this point in time Microsoft don’t actually enable vRSS for the host vNICs, it’s only for VMs so we are stuck with one processor on the host Management partition with Converged Network environment. The good point is the vNICs on the host side get locked to one processor, but they will still get VMQs assuming you have enough Queues and they get distributed across different processors.  

The requirements to enable VMQ are the following:

1. Windows Server 2012 R2 (dVMQ+vRSS).
2. The Physical network adapters must support VMQ.
3. Install the latest NIC driver/firmware (very important).
4. Enable VMQ for 1Gig NICs in the registry, this step can be skipped if you have 10Gig adapters or more:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\VMSMP\Parameters\BelowTenGigVmqEnabled = 1
VmqBT-01

5. Reboot the host if you enable the registry key in step 4.
6. Determine the values for Base and Max CPU based on your hardware configuration.
7. Assign values for Base and Max CPU.
8. Enable RSS inside the Virtual Machines.
9. Turn on VMQ under Hyper-V settings for each VM which is already ON by default.

What is the Base CPU? It is the first CPU used for processing the incoming traffic for a particular vmNIC.

What is the Max CPU? It is the maximum number of CPU that we allow that NIC to process the traffic on.

Ok, so having this explained let’s configure VMQ step by step:

Our Lab Scenario:

We have 8 Physical 1Gig NICs and 2 X 8-core (32 logical processors).

First we need to determine if HyperThreading is enabled by running the following cmdlet:

PS C:\Get-WmiObject –Class win32_processor | ft –Property NumberOfCores, NumberOfLogicalProcessors –auto

VmqBT-02

As you can see we have the NumberOfLogicalProcessors as twice as the NumberOfCores, so we know that HT is enabled in the system.

Next, we need to look at our NIC Teaming and load distribution mode:

PS C:\Get-NetlbfoTeam | ft –Property TeamNics, TeamingMode, LoadBalancingAlgorithm –auto

VmqBT-03

After we determined that HyperThreading is enabled and the Teaming Mode is Switch Independent with Dynamic Mode, next we move on to Assign the Base and Max CPUs.

Attention: before moving into the assignment, one important point to consider, if the NIC team is in Switch-Independent teaming mode and the Load Distribution is set to Hyper-V Port mode or Dynamic mode, then the number of queues reported is the sum of all the queues available from the team members (SUM-Queues mode), otherwise the number of queues reported is the smallest number of queues supported by any member of the team (MIN-Queues mode).

What is (SUM-Queues mode) and What is (MIN-Queues mode)?

The SUM-Queues mode is the total number of VMQs of all the physical NICs that are participating in the team, however the MIN-Queues mode is the minimum number of VMQs of all the physical NICs that are participating in the team.

As an example, let’s consider we have two physical NICs with 4 VMQs each, if the teaming mode is Switch Independent with Hyper-V Port, the mode will be SUM-Queues equal to 8 VMQs, however if the teaming mode is Switch Dependent with Hyper-V Port the mode will be MIN-Queues equal to 4 VMQs.

[You can refer to the table below in order to determine the Teaming and Load distribution mode, source – Microsoft]:

Distribution mode→Teaming mode↓ Address Hash modes Hyper-V Port Dynamic
Switch independent Min-Queues Sum-Queues Sum-Queues
Switch dependent Min-Queues Min-Queues Min-Queues

In my scenario, the NIC Team is in Switch Independent with Dynamic Mode so we are in SUM-Queues mode.

If the team is in Sum-Queues mode the team members’ processors should be, non-overlapping or with little overlap as possible. For example, in a 4-core host (8 logical processors) with a team of 2X10Gbps NICs, you could set the first NIC to use base processor of 2 and to use 4 cores; the second would be set to use base processor 6 and use 2 cores.

If the team is in Min-Queues mode the processor sets used by the team members must be identical, you should configure each NIC team member to use the same cores, in other words the assignment for each physical NIC will be the same.

Now let’s check first if VMQ is enabled:

PS C:\Get-NetAdapterVmq

VmqBT-04

As you can see VMQ is enabled (=True) but not yet configured.

And here we have two Converged Network Teams with 4 Physical NICs and 16 Queues each, so the total number of VMQs per team is 64.

I am using one Converged Team for vmNIC (VMs) and the second one is used for vNICs in the host.

We will set the Base and Max CPUs by running the following cmdlets for the teamed adapters under ConvergedNetTeam01:

PS C:\Set-NetAdapterVmq –Name NIC-b0-f0 –BaseProcessorNumber 2 –MaxProcessors 8
PS C:\Set-NetAdapterVmq –Name NIC-b0-f1 –BaseProcessorNumber 10 –MaxProcessors 8
PS C:\Set-NetAdapterVmq –Name NIC-b0-f2 –BaseProcessorNumber 18 –MaxProcessors 8
PS C:\Set-NetAdapterVmq –Name NIC-b0-f3 –BaseProcessorNumber 26 –MaxProcessors 8

As I mentioned above that in (Sum-Queues mode) you should configure the Base and Max CPU for each physical NIC with non-overlapping as possible, but in our lab environment we didn’t have as many cores as we had Queues so we had to have some overlap otherwise we are wasting our Queues.

Let’s run Get-NetAdapterVmq again and see the changes:

VmqBT-05

As you can see the Base and Max processors are set now, next we can run the Get-NetAdapterVmqQueue andthis will shows us how all queues are assigned across the VMQs in the vmNICs for all VMs on that particular host.

VmqBT-06

Now let’s see the result before and after VMQ + vRSS are enabled:

VMQ and vRSS disabled

In the Guest OS:

VmqBT-07

In the Host:

VmqBT-08

VMQ and vRSS enabled

In the Guest OS:

VmqBT-09

In the Host:

VmqBT-10

Last but not least best practices for configuring VMQ:

1. When using NIC Teaming, always use Switch Independent with Dynamic Mode when possible.
2. Make sure your base processor is never set to Zero to ensure best performance, because CPU0 handles special functions that cannot be handled by any other CPU in the system.
3. Keep in mind when assigning the Base/Max CPU and HyperThreading is enabled in the system, only the even number of processor is real processor (2,4,6,8, etc…), if HT is not enabled you can use even and odd number (1,2,3,4,5, etc…).
4. In SUM-Queues mode, try to configure the Base and Max CPU for each physical NIC with little overlap as possible, this is depends on the host hardware configuration with multiple cores.
5. Only assign Max Processor values of 1,2,4,8. It is ok to have a max processor number that will extend past the last core, or exceeds the number of VMQs on the physical NIC.
6. Don’t set the Base & Max processors on the Multiplexor NIC Teamed Adaptors, leave it as default.

In conclusion, I would prefer to enable VMQ on 1Gig NICs so I can keep my network traffic spread across as many CPU/cores as possible Smile.

For VMQ and RSS deep dive, here you go TechNet 3 part series VMQ Deep Dive.

Hope this helps.

Until then, enjoy your weekend!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Network

#StarWind News Virtual SAN @StarWind #HyperV

1. Webinar! Snapshots VS Replication

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Choose the Right Data Protection Strategy
20 Мay, 11 am ET / 4 pm BST
Speakers: Chris M. Evans, Independent Consultant, Langton Blue Ltd.
Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software Inc.

Both snapshots and replication form an important part of any data protection strategy. It’s essential to know when and why each method should be used. In this webinar we will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both replication and snapshots, highlighting when to use each technique to implement a foolproof data protection regime.
You will learn:

· How snapshots and replication work in a virtual server environment?

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· How to use replication for offsite data protection?

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· Riding with labs, test and development, SMBs or ROBO for a living. Whereabouts – IT departments, remote offices, etc.

Reward: StarWind Virtual SAN Free, the software that creates fault-tolerant VM storage using existing hardware, starting on just two physical hosts running hypervisor. Features free distribution, infinite scaling capabilities, unlimited capacity, allowed production use and unrestricted work time.

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Contact license@starwind.com now to claim your reward!

3. New Technical Papers:

· StarWind Virtual SAN® VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration) Configuration & Performance Guide

· StarWind Virtual SAN® ODX (Off-loaded Data Transfer) Configuration and Performance Tuning Guide

Enjoy the free resources Smile

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, StarWind Tagged with: , , , ,

Is Hyper-V vNext Going To Support Nested Virtualization? #HyperV #Containers #WindowsServer

The answer is yes, yes and yes Open-mouthed smile

A dream come true!

Until today, Windows server Hyper-V could only run Virtual Machines when Hyper-V is enable and running on a physical hardware.

However this is going to be changed in the next release of Windows Server.

Microsoft just announced at Microsoft Build Conference this week that Windows Server vNext Hyper-V will support nested Virtualization, this news was actually broken by my fellow Hyper-V MVP Ronald Beekelaar who attended this great session in San Francisco, the session was about Windows Containers by Taylor Brown and Mathew John (Hyper-V PMs), this great news will give us the ability of running a virtual machine within another virtual machine, which means you can install and enable Hyper-V inside a virtual machine. This is fantastic!

HyperV-Containers-01

Hyper-V Containers running inside a virtual machine that requires Hyper-V (Source: Microsoft #Build2015 Session – Windows Containers: What, Why and How).

As you can see in the above image, in order to run a Hyper-V Container inside a virtual machine, this requires Hyper-V to be present inside the virtual machine, because Hyper-V requires virtualization extensions to be present both on the physical or in the virtual machine that implies that if you are running Hyper-V containers in a virtual machine, then the underlying virtualization platform needs to support nested virtualization that expose into the virtual machine.

Now with nested Virtualization support you can run Hyper-V inside a virtual machine and build a mini Data Center demo and lab environment on your notebook, creating Hyper-V Clusters and so on.

This is a great feature for everyone who like to do demos on Hyper-V.

There are a lot of questions about performance impact and production support, no news at this point in time, we need to wait and see.

Thank you Microsoft for listening to us!!!

Stay tuned for more news to come in the near future…

Until then… Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Windows Server Hyper-V 2016 Tagged with: , , , ,

Step By Step: How To Deploy Gen2 Virtual Machines In #SCVMM 2012 R2 Service Templates? #VMM #HyperV

Hello folks,

Your feedback is very important to the VMM team. Microsoft is listening to you. The long waiting feature request is available now, Generation 2 Virtual Machines for VMRoles and Service Templates is here Open-mouthed smile.

As you already know that Service Templates in VMM was supported only for Gen1 VMs and for VM roles in Windows Azure Pack.

The good news is, the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) team has announced Support for Generation 2 VMs for Services and VM Roles in VMM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6.

This new feature unblocks Generation 2 VMs deployment and management scenarios through VM Roles and Services as the following:

1- Generation 2 VMs through VM Roles, customer can create a cloud level custom property SupportedVmGenerationForVmRole and set its value to ‘2’. All the cloud services created post custom property configuration will have generation 2 VMs while deploying VM Roles to the cloud services.

2- Generation 2 VMs through VMM service instances, new scenarios include deploying multi-tier services with the ability to choose VM generation for respective tiers. In addition, users will be able to service these service instances through conventional as well as image based servicing.

The additional exciting feature in the Update Rollup 6 as well is, you can manage Microsoft Azure IaaS Virtual Machines directly from the Virtual Machine Manager Console Open-mouthed smile, thus VMM become your single pane of glass to manage the three clouds (Private, Hybrid and Public Cloud).

VMM-Gen2-UR6-01

In today’s blog post, I will show you how to deploy Generation 2 Virtual Machines in VMM Service Templates in three different scenarios.

After installing Update Rollup 6 for Virtual Machine Manager here.

Scenario 1: Deploy Single Tier service using Generation 2 Service Template

1. Create a Generation 2 VM Template.
2. Create a Single tier Service template using this VM Template.
3. Once we create Generation 2 service template successfully, we will deploy VMs using that Service.
4. Verify Generation 2 VMs get created.

Step 1: Create Gen2 VM Template

VMM-Gen2-UR6-02

Step 2: Create a Single Tier Service Template

VMM-Gen2-UR6-03

VMM-Gen2-UR6-04

VMM-Gen2-UR6-05

VMM-Gen2-UR6-06

Step 3: Deploy Single Tier Gen2 Service Template

VMM-Gen2-UR6-07

VMM-Gen2-UR6-08

Step 4: Verify Gen2 Service Template is deployed

VMM-Gen2-UR6-09

Scenario 2: Deploy multi-tier service using Generation 2 Service Template

1. Create Generation 2 Service Template with Remote Desktop Services deployment (RD Connection Broker, RD Web Access and RD Session Host).
2. Deploy the multi-tier service.
3. Validate the service that is deployed successfully and generation 2 VMs get created.
4. Scale-Out the RD Session Host Service with Gen 2 VM.
5. Scale-In service.

If you would like to follow along, please make sure to visit the following step by step posts on how to create a Scale-Out and Scale-In Remote Desktop Infrastructure as a Service:

Deploying a Scale-Out RDS as a Service with VMM: Part 1
Deploying a Scale-Out RDS as a Service with VMM: Part 2
Deploying a Scale-Out RDS as a Service with VMM: Part 3

Step 1: Create Gen2 Multi-Tier Service Templates

VMM-Gen2-UR6-10

VMM-Gen2-UR6-11

VMM-Gen2-UR6-12

Step 2: Deploy the Multi-Tier Service Template

VMM-Gen2-UR6-13

 

Step 3: Verify the Multi-Tier Gen2 Service is deployed

VMM-Gen2-UR6-14

VMM-Gen2-UR6-26

Step 4: Scale-Out the Multi-Tier Service

VMM-Gen2-UR6-15

VMM-Gen2-UR6-16

VMM-Gen2-UR6-17

Step 5: Scale-In the Multi-Tier Service

VMM-Gen2-UR6-18

VMM-Gen2-UR6-19

Scenario 3: Deploy multi-tier service using Generation 1 and Generation 2 VM Template

1. Create Service Template with Generation 1 and Generation 2 VMs with Remote Desktop Services deployment (RD Connection Broker, RD Web Access and RD Session Host). The RD Session Host will be generation 1.
2. Deploy the same Remote Desktop Services Infrastructure as described in Scenario 2.
3. Validate the service that is deployed successfully with generation 1 and generation 2 VMs.
4. Scale-Out the RD Session Host Service with Gen 1 VM.
5. Scale-In service.

Step 1: Create Gen2 and Gen1 Multi-Tier Service Templates

VMM-Gen2-UR6-10

VMM-Gen2-UR6-11

VMM-Gen2-UR6-20

Step 2: Deploy the Multi-Tier Service Template

VMM-Gen2-UR6-21

Step 3: Verify the Multi-Tier Gen2 and Gen1 Service is deployed

VMM-Gen2-UR6-22

VMM-Gen2-UR6-26

Step 4: Scale-Out the Multi-Tier Service

VMM-Gen2-UR6-23

VMM-Gen2-UR6-24

VMM-Gen2-UR6-25

Step 5: Scale-In the Multi-Tier Service

VMM-Gen2-UR6-27

VMM-Gen2-UR6-22

Do you have more feedback? One of the most important reasons Microsoft has enabled this update is because you voted for this feedback on the user voice. If you want to influence the priorities of the product group you can vote on existing suggestions or submit your own suggestions here:

More Information

Description of the Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager is here.

Until then… Enjoy your day!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Service Templates, System Center, System Center 2012 R2, Virtual Machine Manager, Windows Azure Pack Tagged with: , , , ,

Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 is Now Available #SysCtr #SystemCenter #VMM

Hello folks,

I am glad to share with you that Microsoft just released the Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2.

Please find the description of the components that are updated in System Center 2012 R2 UR6 and the new features that are added for Virtual Machine Manager particularly:

 Virtual Machine Manager (KB3050317):

  • Add Azure Subscription feature: By using the Add Azure Subscription feature in Update Rollup 6, administrators of Virtual Machine Manager can add Microsoft Azure subscriptions to VMM and perform basic actions on Azure instances in those subscriptions. The feature is included in Virtual Machine Manager in Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2. For each Azure subscription that you add, you can use a console to see all role instances in all deployment groups in that subscription.
    What you can do with this feature
    If you already manage your on-premises virtual machines in Virtual Machine Manager, you can use this feature to perform some very basic actions on Azure instances without leaving the VMM console. For example, you can do the following:

    • Add or remove one or more Azure subscriptions by using the VMM console.
    • See a list view of details and statuses of all role instances in all deployments in that subscription.
    • Manually update the list of instances.
    • Perform the following basic actions on the instances:
      • Start
      • Stop
      • Shutdown
      • Restart
      • Connect through RDP

    For more information, see Adding an Azure subscription in VMM in System Center 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 6.

  • Improved E2A ASR protection scenario: By having Update Rollup 6 in your Virtual Machine Manager environment, it’s easier to discover and correct an issue that sometimes occurs when you configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) protection. This issue occurs when you want to add ASR protection for on-premises virtual machines, and you have the following virtual machine properties:
    • No specified operating system version
    • No indication of which disk contains the operating system for the virtual machine

    These properties must be specified because they are required by Azure Site Recovery. In Update Rollup 6, a clearer set of error messages are displayed in VMM in the Jobs pane if you try to configure a virtual machine that does not meet the requirements.
    For information about ASR requirements, see
    Prerequisites and support in the Azure Site Recovery Planning Guide.

  • Option to use Generation 2 VMs in Services and VMRoles: In Update Rollup 6, VMM now provides support for Generation 2 virtual machines for services and VM Roles. By using this feature, you can deploy multi-tier services and choose the virtual machine generation for individual tiers. Users can service these service instances through conventional and image-based servicing.
    For more information, see
    Understanding Generation 1 and Generation 2 Virtual Machines in VMM.
  • Total Networking Usage Exposure rules in Management Pack: This change introduces two rules that target Hyper-V Hosts:
    • Total Incoming VNic Network traffic collection rule
    • Total Outgoing VNic Network traffic collection rule

    These rules measure the total incoming and total outgoing traffic in Kilo Bytes per VNic per virtual machine in the following method:
    For each VM:

    1. Enable Hyper-V Metering if it is not enabled.
    2. Run Measure-VM.
    3. Collect metering data for every remote address of “0.0.0.0/0″ or “::/0″ per VNic.

    By default, these rules run every hour. Users may opt to override this setting by overriding the IntervalSeconds property. These rules should not be run more frequently than every five minutes (300 seconds).
    Behavior in previous versions: VMM did not measure data consumption. It measured only throughput.

  • Option to overcommit Cloud and Host Group capacity for Replica VMs: System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager lets you put your replica virtual machines on a preconfigured cloud or host group if they fit within your capacity settings. Until now, VMM assumed that all the resources that were allocated to replica VMs were in use. Therefore, VMM did not allow you to put any replica VM on a cloud or host group if that would raise the aggregate load of all the replica VMs beyond the cloud or host group capacity.Although this behavior made sure that all the replica VMs could simultaneously start, it could cause a non-optimal use of replica clouds and host groups. This would occur if you (an Enterprise or Hoster) tried to put additional VMs within a cloud or a host group. That is, if you overcommited the replica cloud or host group. In Update Rollup 6, you can overcommit clouds and host groups in your VMM environment by configuring the following registry key on the VMM Server:

    Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\Settings\Placement

  • DWORD name: IgnoreMemoryForStoppedReplicaVM
    DWORD value: 1
    Note If the Placement subkey does not exist, create it
  • See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:
    3050317
    Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

Components that are fixed in update rollup 6:
App Controller:

There are no updates to this component in this update rollup.

Data Protection Manager (KB3030574):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3030574 Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

Operations Manager (KB3051169):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3051169 Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager

Orchestrator:

There are no updates to this component in this update rollup.

Service Manager (KB3039363):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3039363 Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager

Service Provider Foundation (KB3050307):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3050307 Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator – Service Provider Foundation

Service Reporting (KB3050321):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3050321 Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Reporting

Windows Azure Pack (KB3051166):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3051166 Update Rollup 6 for Windows Azure Pack R2

Windows Azure Pack Web Sites (KB3051142):

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3051142 Update Rollup 6 for Windows Azure Pack Sites

How to obtain and install Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2.

Please see each KB article above to obtain specific installation instructions for each component.

Warning: Please remember to try the update first in a dev/test environment before you install them in production!

Happy Testing Smile

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in System Center, System Center 2012 R2 Tagged with: , , ,

Advanced Hyper-V Replica Monitoring via #PowerShell #WS12R2 #HyperV #SAPIEN

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-00

Hyper-V Replica can be your lifesaver if a disaster occurs, and at the same time it can be your enemy if you are not monitoring it.

If you have used Hyper-V Replica (of course you did Winking smile), then you will know about the replica status column in Hyper-V Manager console. This is the part of the UI where you can see the state of replica is: Normal, Warning or Critical. A simple interpretation of these states is the following:

  • Normal: No worries, everything is fine! A virtual machine with Normal state if any of the following happen:
    • Less than 20% of replication attempts have been missed.
    • The average latency. That’s important because Hyper-V Replica wants to replicate the Hyper-V Replica Log File (HRL) every 30 sec, 5 min or 15 min. This depends on the replication frequency set.
  • Warning: There have been some problems, but Hyper-V will try to fix them automatically for you. A virtual machine has a warning state if any of the following happen:
    • The initial replica copy or synchronization is not completed.
    • More than 20% of replication cycles have been missed during the current monitoring interval.
    • One hour or more has passed since the last send replica was successfully sent/received.
    • The source virtual machine’s replication is in paused state.
    • Failover has been started, but the reverse replication has not been started.
  • Critical: Sorry, things have gone past the point where Hyper-V can fix them for you, and therefore you need to intervene. A virtual machine has a critical state if any of the following happen:
    • The source primary host is unable to send Hyper-V traffic to the replica host, this could be network or firewall issues.
    • The replication is suspended on the primary or on the replica host.

One of the problem is that things can go really bad if you have Hyper-V replica in a critical state for a long period of time, the (AVHD/AVHDX) differencing disk will grow and can make a big mess on the primary server, and the next thing, you want to know when things go wrong right? because if there is something going wrong in the environment that causes the virtual machines to go into Warning or Critical state – I want to know! And I want to fix it so it does not happen again! I do not want to think that life is good when actually I have a problem to fix Winking smile

As a side note: Hyper-V Replica creates an AVHDX to handle the initial replication of the virtual machine (i.e. getting the first copy of the virtual machine across the replica host). Hyper-V Replica will merge this disk out once it has successfully made a full copy of the virtual machine, virtual hard disk (which can take a while).

So for this reason, I have created a nifty PowerShell script which e-mail the Hyper-V administrator when something goes wrong with Hyper-V Replica in a nice dashboard HTML format.

This script will check first Hyper-V Replica TCP listener on Port 80, because Hyper-V Replica requires HTTP and HTTPS rules to be enable in Windows Firewall, and then e-mail the Replication State, Replication Mode, the Target frequency of the replica (30 sec, 5 min or 15 min), and how far the replica virtual machine is behind from the primary virtual machine (Delta in min), then the last replication time and the missed replica count used by Virtual Machines which are in Warning and Critical states only in an HTML tabular format to the specified email address. This of course can be used along with a task scheduler to get a notification when something deviating from the normal on a regular basis for monitoring purposes (Please refer to the end of this article to automate the task).

I want to mention that this tool was created using SAPIEN PowerShell Studio 2015 which is a great support when you are creating advanced scripts or GUI Tool Making like the following tool Winking smile.

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-04

How to use:

  • Use –PrimHyperV01 parameter, if you want to change the primary Hyper-V host and get info for all primary virtual machines. If not, it will use the Hyper-V host which is defined by default in the script.
  • Use –RepHyperV02 parameter, if you want to change the replica Hyper-V host and get info for all primary virtual machines. If not, it will use the Hyper-V host which is defined by default in the script.
  • Use –ExtHyperV03 parameter, if you want to check the extended Hyper-V Replica host and get info for all primary virtual machines. If not, it will use only the primary and replica Hyper-V hosts.
  • You can run the script on a remote management machine loaded with Hyper-V PowerShell module which is the preferred way, or run it directly on the Hyper-V Host which I don’t recommend.

Examples:

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-05

This example will check first the HTTP connectivity to the Primary and Replica Hyper-V server, If both nodes are reachable, then it will look for primary Virtual Machines that are in Warning and Critical state and send you an alert.

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-06

This example will check first the HTTP connectivity to the Primary, Replica and Extended Replica Hyper-V Hosts, If all nodes are reachable, then it will look for primary Virtual Machines that are in Warning and Critical state and send you an alert.

Sample Output:

Node is not Reachable Notification!

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-01

Warning State Notification!

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-02

Critical State Notification!

Get-HyperVReplicaHealthV1.0-03

Last but not least, you can automate the invocation of the Get-HyperVReplicaHealth script using Task Scheduler to run every hour and send you an alert if something goes wrong in Hyper-V Replica. To do this, you can use the Register-ScheduleJob cmdlet. Here’s an example to monitor your Hyper-V Replica Infrastructure every one hour:

You can download a copy of this script from TechNet Gallery here.

This is version 1.0, do you have other scenarios? Please leave your feedback below.

In version 2.0, I will include Hyper-V Replica Broker in a Cluster scenario.

Until then… Enjoy your day!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, PowerShell Tagged with: , , , ,

#Microsoft #MVP Virtual Conference #MVPbuzz

MVP15_MicrosoftMVP_VC_WebBanner

Register to attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference!

Hello folks, I wanted to let you know about a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone! Learn from the best and brightest MVPs in the tech world today and develop some great skills!

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues. Register now and feel the power of community!

clip_image001

Enjoy the virtual conference!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, MVP Tagged with: , , ,

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