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Manage VM placement in Hyper-V cluster with VMM
Posted by Romain Serre on September 23, 2016
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The placement of the virtual machines in a Hyper-V cluster is an important step to ensure performance and high availability. To make a highly available application, usually a cluster is deployed spread across two or more virtual machines. In case of a Hyper-V node is crashing, the application must keep working.

But the VM placement concerns also its storage and its network. Let’s think about a storage solution where you have several LUNs (or Storage Spaces) according to a service level. Maybe you have a LUN with HDD in RAID 6 and another in RAID 1 with SSD. You don’t want that the VM which requires intensive IO was placed on HDD LUN.

Storage Classification in Virtual Machine Manager

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Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Backup Rises to the challenges
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 19, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

Introduction

In Windows Sever 2016 Microsoft improved Hyper-V backup to address many of the concerns mentioned in our previous Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address:

  • They avoid the need for agents by making the API’s remotely accessible. It’s all WMI calls directly to Hyper-V.
  • They implemented their own CBT mechanism for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to reduce the amount of data that needs to be copied during every backup. This can be leveraged by any backup vendor and takes away the responsibility of creating CBT from the backup vendors. This makes it easier for them to support Hyper-V releases faster. This also avoids the need for inserting drivers into the IO path of the Hyper-V hosts. Sure the testing & certification still has to happen as all vendors now can be impacted by a bug MSFT introduced.
  • They are no longer dependent on the host VSS infrastructure. This eliminates storage overhead as wells as the storage fabric IO overhead associated with performance issues when needing to use host level VSS snapshots on the entire LUN/CSV for even a single VM.
  • This helps avoid the need for hardware VSS providers delivered by storage vendors and delivers better results with storage solution that don’t offer hardware providers.
  • Storage vendors and backup vendors can still integrate this with their snapshots for speedy and easy backup and restores. But as the backup work at the VM level is separated from an (optional) host VSS snapshot the performance hit is less and the total duration significantly reduced.
  • It’s efficient in regard to the number of data that needs to be copied to the backup target and stored there. This reduces capacity needed and for some vendors the almost hard dependency on deduplication to make it even feasible in regards to cost.
  • These capabilities are available to anyone (backup vendors, storage vendors, home grown PowerShell scripts …) who wishes to leverage them and doesn’t prevent them from implementing synthetic full backups, merge backups as they age etc. It’s capable enough to allow great backup solutions to be built on top of it.

Let’s dive in together and take a closer look.

Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V backup
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WS2016: Start with Windows Containers
Posted by Florent Appointaire on September 16, 2016
5/5 (1)

Windows Server

With the next release of Windows Server, 2016, who will be available during Ignite conference (end of September), a new feature will be released. It’s Windows Containers.

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Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 12, 2016
4.75/5 (4)

Introduction

Personally I have been very successful at providing good backup designs for Hyper-V in both small to larger environments using budgets that range in between “make due” to “well-funded”.  How does one achieve this? Two factors. The first factor is knowing the strengths and limitations of the various Hyper-V versions when you design the backup solution. Bar the ever better scalability, performance and capabilities with each new version of Hyper-V, the improvements in back up from 2012 to 2012 R2 for example were a prime motivator to upgrade. The second factor of success is due to the fact that I demand a mandate and control over the infrastructure stack to do so. In many case you are not that lucky and can’t change much in already existing environments. Sometimes not even in new environments when the gear, solutions have already been chosen, purchased and the design is deployed before you get involved.

Windows Server 2008 (R2) - 2012 Hyper-V Backup
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How VMware sees IT future. VMworld 2016. Day 1.
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on September 1, 2016
4/5 (1)

As you know, the main virtualization conference VMworld 2016 arranged by VMware is now being held in Las Vegas. On the first day of the conference several interesting announcements were made. For example, VMware Cloud Foundation, which soon will be available on the IBM platform and later with other vendors, as well, was presented. It allows to get a ready-made infrastructure at customer’s site with both necessary software and hardware components and ready, configured and integrated control and automation tools like NSX, Virtual SAN and vRealize:

VMware Cloud Foundation (more…)

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vSphere Auto Deploy
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on August 22, 2016
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The Auto Deploy is one of the underestimated vSphere features. I have seen many vSphere Designs where using Auto Deploy was outlined as overcomplicating and manual build of ESXi servers was preferred. That is pretty frustrating as we, as IT professionals, strive to automate as much as possible in our day to day work.

Configuring Auto Deploy is definitely not as simple as VSAN for instance, but using Auto Deploy really pays off when you manage hundreds and thousands of ESXi hosts.

ESXi Offline Bundle

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Musings on Windows Server Converged Networking & Storage
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 19, 2016
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Why you should learn about SMB Direct, RDMA & lossless Ethernet for both networking & storage solutions

fully converged Hyper-V Qos Courtesy of Microsoft
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How to Deploy and Manage Storage Spaces Direct Cluster using SCVMM 2016?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on August 18, 2016
4/5 (2)

Hyper-converged stack

Windows Server 2016 – Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-converged [image credit: Microsoft]

Introduction

With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), which enables building highly available Software-Defined Storage systems with local attached storage. This storage can be leveraged by VMs running on the same cluster (in hyper-converged mode) or the storage can be presented as a File Share (in disaggregated mode). The hyper-converged deployment scenario has the Hyper-V (compute) and Storage Spaces Direct (storage) components on the same cluster. Virtual machine’s files are stored on local CSVs. Once Storage Spaces Direct is configured and the CSV volumes are available, configuring and provisioning Hyper-V is the same process and uses the same tools that you would use with any other Hyper-V deployment on a failover cluster.

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Why moving from Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2016 for Hyper-V
Posted by Romain Serre on August 16, 2016
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Windows Server 2016 will be released the next month said Microsoft the last month. Windows Server 2016 brings a lot of new features compared to the last Windows Server version for Hyper-V, networking and storage. In this topic I will try to convince you to move from prior Windows Server edition to Windows Server 2016 with eight reasons.

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Ubuntu: Manage your SQL Server from Linux
Posted by Florent Appointaire on August 15, 2016
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ubuntu

We will see how to install and use tools to manage your SQL Servers. We will use the version 13, who is compatible with Ubuntu. You can use these drivers from SQL Server 2008 to 2016, and it’s compatible with Azure SQL Database too.

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