Specialize Windows Server Hyper-V guest OS automatically
Posted by Romain Serre on February 6, 2017
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Last year I have written a topic on Starwind to create VMs from PowerShell. That enables to automate the creation process without using a GUI, either from Virtual Machine Manager or Hyper-V Manager. But a VM deployment is not finished when the VM is created but when the application is deployed. Before deploying the application, the OS must also be installed and specialized. This topic shows you the method I use to deploy and specialize a VM without a single click.

Specialize OS from unattended file

If you read this documentation (Implicit Answer File Search Order section), you can see that we can specialize the OS from unattended file. This unattended.xml file will be placed in C:\Windows\Panther\Unattend. To prepare the unattended file, I use ADK (Assessment Deployment Kit). When you install the ADK, select Deployment Tools. Then you can open Windows System Image Manager.

Windows System Image Manager


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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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How to Deploy Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) Using SCVMM 2016?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on August 5, 2016
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Windows Server 2016 - Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA       Windows Server 2016 – Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA [image credit: Microsoft]


With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing a new type of teaming approach called Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) which is a virtualization aware, how is that different from NIC Teaming (LBFO), the first part it is embedded into the Hyper-V virtual switch, that means a couple of things, the first one you don’t have any team interfaces anymore, you won’t be able to build anything extra on top of it, you can’t set property on the team because it’s part of the virtual switch, you set all the properties directly on the vSwitch. This is targeted to support Software Defined Networking (SDN) switch capabilities, it’s not a general purpose use everywhere teaming solution that NIC Teaming was intended to be. So this is specifically integrated with Packet Direct, Converged RDMA vNIC and SDN-QoS. It’s only supported when using the SDN-Extension.


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Automate the Hyper-V Virtual Machine deployment with PowerShell
Posted by Romain Serre on February 17, 2016
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For large Hyper-V infrastructure, IT people use often Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to automate tasks as VM deployment. VMM provides profiles (hardware, operating system and application) and then we use these profiles to build a VM Template. Most of the time, a VM Template contains a VM hardware configuration and the OS configuration (join the domain, product key and so on). Then VMs are deployed from templates which decrease the time to deploy a working VM.

The convenient about VMM is its price. VMM is expensive and it is often medium/large business which implement VMM. So for other companies which can’t buy VMM, are they forced to do without VM deployment automation? Of course no. Other tools can help us to make automation without VMM and it is called PowerShell.

Since Windows Server 2012, a lot of Hyper-V PowerShell commands (in Hyper-V module) have been added. Now easily we can create, configure and manage VM from PowerShell.

PowerShell command (more…)

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