blog.kaniski.eu I just wanna learn!

4Sep/170

Deploying Linux machines by using System Center 2016: Virtual Machine Manager templates

In light of "Microsoft loves Linux" initiative, you can now deploy your Linux virtual machines by using templates in the System Center 2016: Virtual Machine Manager. As I was searching on how to do this (successfully), there were couple of articles that helped, so I’ve decided to do a short list of all the necessary steps (in one place).

Steps to make your Linux VM template deployments work:

  • create a new (Generation 2) virtual machine (as you would normally do)
  • install the Linux operating system in that virtual machine (as you would normally do)
    • HINT: A list of supported Linux distributions and versions on Hyper-V is available here.
  • install the Linux Integration Services (LIS) (as per this post):
    • open the "modules" file
    • add the following to the end of this file:
    • save it (Ctrl+X and Y)
    • install LIS and reboot the machine by using the following commands:
    • check if the services are running by using the command:
  • install the Virtual Machine Manager agent (as per this post):
    • share the folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2016\Agents\Linux on your VMM machine
    • copy the VMM agent files to Linux virtual machine
      • as a real Windows admin, I did it through the GUI
    • install the agent:
  • fix the boot for Generation 2 virtual machine (boot information is by default stored in the VM configuration file, not on disk – Ben wrote a great article on this “issue”)
    • Ben’s way (didn’t work for me):
      • change directory to the boot EFI directory
      • copy the ubuntu directory in to a new directory named boot
      • change directory to the newly created boot directory
      • rename the shimx64.efi file
    • TriJetScud’s way in the comments (worked for me with Ubuntu 16.04 Generation 2 VM):
  • shutdown the virtual machine and copy its VHDX to the VMM Library
    • HINT: Don't forget to refresh the VMM Library.
  • go to the VMM Library, right-click the copied VHDX and select the Create VM template option
  • proceed with creating the template as you normally would, to the part Configure Operating System
    • HINT: If you are using Secure boot, don’t forget to select the MicrosoftUEFICertificateAuthority template in hardware settings.
  • there, under Guest OS profile, you select the option to create a new Linux operating system customization settings
  • next you specify your guest OS settings and finish creating the template
  • now you can create a new Linux virtual machine from the template you’ve configured!

Hope it helps!

Cheers!

10Oct/160

Reinstalling your Hyper-V hosts

Have you ever reinstalled your Hyper-V hosts?

I know, there is not much need for it (as everything usually works just fine), but still… there is a “Windows Server 2016 re-installation wave” coming and maybe you’ll find the the next pieces interesting and useful.

One of the “messy” tasks with Windows reinstallation is networking… and by “messy” I mean “you have more than one network cable in your Hyper-V hosts” and you need to know which networks are connected where. Smile

What happens is that Windows somehow always forgets your network device order, all the pretty names you’ve applied and you get stuck with names like “Ethernet”, “Ethernet 2”, etc.

There is a way to fix this (there are many, actually) – we can ask our younger colleague to go to the server room and unplug the cables one by one and then plug them back in, following the rename on our (Windows) side. This way we are certain that all the corporate, DMZ, storage, live migration, etc. cables don’t get “confused” when added to their respective teams and if we labeled cables properly, everything will work with fresh Windows installation also.

But… there is another way. We can use what we already have – our documentation. Here I mean “our current setup” – we have our network adapters and teams already configured in our current Windows installation, why don’t we just export this info and use it after the reinstallation?

We can do this easily by using PowerShell!

The idea is to export network adapter names and MAC addresses of our physical network adapters (excluding the virtual and team adapters), in a CSV file, so that we can use it later, to rename our adapters after the reinstallation:

After reinstallation, we can use the following command to rename our adapters, as per our saved CSV file:

And voilà – our networks are named nicely again (and our colleague didn’t need to go to the cold server room… this time). Smile

Cheers!

1Oct/160

MobilityDay 2016

As mentioned before, I was at the MobilityDay 2016 conference on Thursday, where I’ve had an honor to deliver a session about Citrix XenMobile & NetScaler solutions (yup, I know… it’s not Hyper-V… go figure… but my demo environment was still runnning on top of Hyper-V, so…).

Session was actually a short introduction to what Citrix XenMobile solution offers and how to set it all up, combined with NetScaler, for a complete management of mobile devices and mobile applications.

Conference was great, as always – so much old (and new) faces, with lots of fun. This time it was actually a 10th birthday of MobilityDay!

14470566_10205580989363163_284177836217597639_n(photo by Romeo)

Happy birthday, MobilityDay! (and congrats to the organizers) Smile

Slides are available at my SlideShare:

Cheers!

17Sep/160

Hyper-V best practices at KulenDayz 2016

It’s that time of the year again – conference time! Smile

First of the conferences I was at was the KulenDayz 2016 conference. I love KulenDayz! So many nice people, friends, colleagues, MVPs and kids gathering at awesome (and relaxed) sessions, enjoying wonderful nature (and food). Smile

This year I’ve had the honor to speak about Hyper-V best practices – I’ve tried to gather the most of best practices around Hyper-V deployments that I’ve seen/learned/done over the years in an easy 50-minute session. Considering the reactions from the attendees and other speakers, it was a great session! (thank you all!)

skik

As every one of us has hers/his best practices around Hyper-V, I’m expecting your comments, thoughts and corrections… we are all learning from each other!

Session slides have been uploaded to SlideShare:


Big thanks to the organizers for another great KulenDayz experience!!!

Next conference is Mobility Day 2016, which is in about two weeks. I’ll be speaking about something completely different – Citrix XenMobile and NetScaler. Fun times!

Cheers!

3Feb/150

Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5 just released

New version of my favorite Hyper-V backup tool just got officially released! Smile

Altaro released the long-awaited next version of their Hyper-V backup software, Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5 – it features a completely new look, centralized configuration and management of multiple hosts with greater flexibility and improved performance. Do I have to mention that it has a free version as well? Smile

FREE version offers free backup of two virtual machines... forever! (there is also a 30-day trial available for more than two virtual machines)

I like it because it’s simple and not too expensive (in more than one aspect), fast, does the job, and does it pretty good! I’ve also installed the new version on one of my hosts, and it looks just great (can’t wait to run the first backup and restore of my virtual machines)!

Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5

 Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5

You can find more info and official announcement here.
Download is available here.

Cheers!

UPDATE: Please, don't remove your own host from the console (until the next week's release goes public) - in the current public release (5.0.75.0), you won't be able to add it back!

Workaround:
1. stop all Altaro services
2. go to %ProgramData%\Altaro
3. rename the AltaroBackupProfile folder to AltaroBackupProfile.old
4. start all Altaro services

26Jan/150

New Hyper-V books

If you are in search for something to read – there are two new Hyper-V books, written by my MVP colleagues, that I can recommend.

The first one is called Hyper-V Best Practices, written by Benedict Berger (Microsoft MVP), and it covers… well… best practices with Hyper-V. Smile

By reading this book, you’ll learn:

  • Install Hyper-V and virtual machines automated through PowerShell
  • Create High Availability solutions with failover clustering
  • Protect from disasters with Hyper-V Replica
  • Utilize the performance and scalability of storage virtualization
  • Build a flexible network infrastructure without physical boundaries
  • Design performance measurement and tuning action plans
  • Manage your Hyper-V stack with System Center
  • Move existing virtualization workloads to Hyper-V

6091EN_Hyper-V%20Best%20Practices_cov_0

You can find more about this book (and purchase it) here.

The second book is called Hyper-V Security, written by Eric Siron and Andy Syrewicze (Microsoft MVP).

By reading this one, you’ll learn:

  • Defend the network and disk resources that Hyper-V relies on
  • Control access to Hyper-V, both locally and remotely
  • Automate security policies using Group Policy
  • Leverage Hyper-V's isolation features to protect services while still providing necessary access to resources
  • Combine Hyper-V with external technologies to provide a strong defense-in-depth system
  • Identify and explain security needs to organization officials reluctant to provide proper funding
  • Protect your virtual infrastructure when System Center VMM is present
  • Make management of multiple on-premise private clouds and Azure-based public clouds more secure with App Controller

5490EN_3570_Hyper-V-Security_Frontcover

You can find more about this book and purchase it here.

Happy reading!

22Jan/152

Hyper-V reporting script

There’s something nice for all you Hyper-V admins out there – don’t know if you’ve seen it already, but Serhat Akinci (my MVP colleague) made a great script for reporting the health of your Hyper-V hosts, called Get-HyperVReport.

You can use it on local or remote Hyper-V hosts and clusters, schedule and e-mail the reports (something to read while enjoying the morning coffee… or tea Smile), and they look like this:

image

Highlights (from TechNet page):

  • More than 2600+ lines of PowerShell, HTML and CSS code examples
  • Creates a plain but detailed and user-friendly HTML report which is compatible with all modern browsers
  • Provides more detailed information via tooltips in the HTML report. (cells with asteriks and highlighted)
  • Checks and installs required runtime environment prerequisites like Hyper-V and Clustering PowerShell
  • Collects information by using standard Hyper-V and Clustering PowerShell cmdlets and custom WMI queries
  • Shows alerts in the report for certain situations (utilizations, VM checkpoints, replication status, etc.)
  • Can be used directly from command-line or as a scheduled Windows task
  • Supports report delivery via e-mail with advanced options. (authentication, TLS/SSL, multiple recipients)
  • Includes a mode that reports only alerts in the Hyper-V environment. (aka HighlightsOnly mode)
  • Advanced error handling and logging. (Console messages and log file)

Download of this script, and more information about it, is available at TechNet Gallery. And remember – don’t let your Hyper-V hosts run all by themselves! Smile

Cheers!

14Dec/140

Windows Server 2012 R2 installation media issues (OEM)

Here’s an easy one – you may have encountered and solved it already, but let this be here… as a reminder. Smile

If you ever tried to install the Windows Server 2012 R2 into a Hyper-V virtual machine by using the provided OEM installation media (in my case, from IBM), your installation may fail even before it started because the hardware you’re using (i.e. “virtual” hardware) is not the one the installation expects (which is “imprinted in the media itself”).

So, you get an error like this:

image

Solution here is kind of simple – IBM provided the little utility (just 5 KB) called Hyper-V-OEM-BIOS-V2.exe, which makes the virtual machine “produced by IBM” (actually, virtual machine BIOS gets updated to contain the IBM specific information, that the Windows installation is looking for, and which is the cause of this error).

After you run the utility (on your Hyper-V host), Windows installation using the OEM media proceeds as it should.

image

Other solution (actually a workaround) is to use the retail media for the virtual machine installation. In this case, you won’t get the error, and installation proceeds as it should right from the beginning.

IBM published a document explaining this issue, and the possible resolution/workaround, you can view it here.

As I’ve said – quick & easy (hope it helps)! Smile

Cheers!

7Aug/140

Just released – Veeam Management Pack v7

Guys at Veeam have released a new version of their management pack for System Center - Veeam® Management Pack™ v7 (now with Hyper-V support, which is kind of a big deal for those running Hyper-V & Veeam)!

As they say on their website – “This new version is the most comprehensive, intuitive and intelligent extension for app-to-metal management of Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere and Veeam Backup & Replication™.

One interesting thing about the product is that it now offers the same features for monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for both hypervisors. You’ll get:

  • Interactive topology views of compute, storage and network
  • Real-time Hyper-V performance monitoring
  • In-context dashboards and heat maps

More detailed info is available here.

mp_7_scheme

They also have a very cool offer – here you can request a free product license (Enterprise edition) including one year of free Standard maintenance for Hyper-V environments up to 100 sockets (offer available until December 31, 2014).

So… grab your license and start exploring! Smile

17Jul/140

Need a Book for the Beach?

I’m happy to announce that our MVP colleague, Alessandro Cardoso got published again. His book, System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Cookbook, got an update to the latest System Center version and much more!

I’m also happy that I was selected as a Technical Reviewer of this book and, in a (small) way, helped in creating this awesome resource. My final copy arrived just this morning, and I can’t wait to read it (again). Smile

6848EN_System Cookbook

You can find more info about it (as well as order your copy) here.

Cheers!