It was great to see that the Windows Admin Center is now being updated automatically with other Windows Server OS updates when I updated the server on which it is installed the other day:
One fewer thing to have to check for manually!
I’ve installed VAMT 3.0 to work with Windows 8 and came across an issue where it crashed on launch:
Despite there being no mention of it on the VAMT 3.0 requirements page, it actually requires .NET 3.5.
Once installation of .NET 3.5 was complete, VAMT 3.0 started correctly.
Tuesday’s IT Camp in Leeds was great fun and introduced lots of people to Hyper-V.
The day itself was very different to the normal events that we’ve seen or been part of; I think I counted two PowerPoint slides during the entire event! The attendees were given the opportunity to try out Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server installing it on a VHD on the file system on their own laptops. We’d brought a couple of laptops along with blank disks so that others could also play and these were snapped up very quickly.
As is usually the case, not all of the demos went entirely according to plan, however nobody present seemed to mind too much. Andy and Simon did a marvellous job working around the problems and keeping the event flowing. There was lots of enthusiasm for more events in Leeds – we’ll keep you posted when more dates in Leeds become available.
There were lots of specific questions both relating to Hyper-V and on other subjects, which we were pleased to help with. I hope that everyone who attended left with knowledge about, and enthusiasm for Hyper-V, which is what the day was all about. A good many of the attendees seemed to enjoy getting stuck in with Hyper-V server.
Along with Rik’s recommendations, I have a few additional resources related to Hyper-V that I use on a regular basis:
Andy and Simon are running more hands-on IT Camps; a full list can be found at http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/it-pro-camps/ – if there’s anything on the list that you’d like to see, get registered and come along!
Building a Hyper-V virtual machine from scratch almost always seems to involve mounting an ISO image at some point during the installation process. I suspect that like us, many other organisations already have a network location in which we store ISO images. The ability to mount an ISO image from our usual network location saves us having to copy the ISO images to the local Hyper-V servers.
The ability to remote mount an ISO image requires that a couple of configuration changes are made. Attempting to remote mount an ISO image without making the configuration changes usually results in an err along the lines of
Inserting the disk failed
Failed to add device ‘Microsoft Virtual CD/DVD Disk’
The file ‘\\RemoteServer\Share\ISO_Image.iso’ does not have the required security settings. Error: ‘General access denied error’
There are two configuration changes that need to be made. The first is ensuring that the Hyper-V hosts can access the share itself that contains the ISO images. As a workaround, you can always grant ‘Everyone’ read access to the share. If you want to control access to individual servers, you need to specify the Active Directory computer object for each server you want to give access to.
The second configuration change that is required to to grant Constrained Delegation on the virtual host objects in Active Directory:
You should now be able to remote mount ISO images from the server specified.
At Black Marble, we’re in the process of migrating some of our virtual machines to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster. The process of migrating machines from a single Hyper-V host to a Hyper-V cluster is not quite as straightforward as migration of a machine from one single host to another. In addition, our migrations are made slightly more interesting as our Hyper-V cluster is built on Server 2008 R2 Core machines, so no GUI interface on those machines to help us!
Due to our cluster being Server 2008 R2 Core machines, we do all of our administration remotely. Once the cluster is built, we rarely spend much time directly connected to the cluster machines. Most of the administration for virtual machines is done from the Failover Cluster Manager on another server we use as an application server. While the Failover Cluster Manager allows us to create new virtual guests directly from the interface, there is no apparent way to import virtual machines that already exist onto the cluster directly from the interface.
Importing pre-existing virtual guests onto the cluster therefore becomes a two stage process; firstly import the machine using Hyper-V Manager, then make them highly available.
To import the virtual machine, the following steps need to be taken:
At this point, you have a virtual guest that has been migrated to its new host, but has not been made highly available. To achieve this, the following steps need to be taken:
Your migrated, highly available virtual machines should now be available via the Failover Cluster Manager. You may wish to modify the properties of the migrated high availability virtual machines to set items such as preferred owner and failover/failback settings before starting them.
Today has been interesting. Rik and I started the day doing the sightseeing we had time for. The Gaudi cathedral had been particularly recommended, so with limited time at our disposal, that’s what we decided to see. We arrived at the gate just as it opened, and were in within a few minutes. The cathedral is very, very impressive, though there is an awful lot of construction work going on at the moment. It is an amazing structure, with a very impressive sense of light and space inside:
Following the trip to the cathedral, we headed back towards the convention centre to get lunch and to try to get into the main auditorium for the keynote early enough to get a good seat. I was glad that we made the effort as we managed to get seats near the front tucked off to one side. Here’s our view of the stage, and the auditorium once it had nearly filled:
The keynote by Brad Anderson was interesting, with a number of announcements and some very useful demos. I was particularly impressed with the drive towards virtualisation, and the available and forthcoming tools to help you manage the resulting data centre. There was a live migration demo using Server 2008 R2 which demonstrated a live move of a virtual machine from one host to another with no interruption of service. In addition, Gemini was demonstrated; a self service BI offering allowing anyone within the organisation to view and manipulate data from sources such as SQL Server. The most impressive part of the demonstration as far as I was concerned was the ease (and speed!) with which the data could be published to SharePoint for consumption within the business:
Also mentioned were items such as Cross Platform Extensions for SCOM allowing monitoring and management of non-Microsoft systems and server Application Virtualisation allowing the separation of the server OS and the server application allowing each to be managed (and patched) separately – all very interesting! A number of announcements were also made, for example System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Beta will be available for download at the end of November.
From there it was off to the first session; Planning and Operations Tools for SharePoint which provided some useful pointers and allowed the possibility of some feedback to the managers of the solution accelerators programme.
After the sessions this afternoon, Rik and I spent some time wandering around the Ask The Expert area generally asking awkward questions of most of the people we could find.
All in all it’s been a very useful first day.
Yesterday I finally got around to installing SCVMM 2008 beta onto a virtual machine (mainly to help us with some virtual machine migrations we’ve got coming up). I must say that I think SCVMM 2008 beta is very nice indeed!
On my Vista machine I use Tore Lervik’s Hyper-V Monitor Gadget for Windows Sidebar, and have done for some time. With the number of virtual machines we run, I have found it an invaluable addition to my sidebar.
This morning however, when I tried to connect to one of the virtual machines listed by the gadget, I got an error message ‘An error occurred trying to find the virtual machine <GUID> on the server <servername>’. In addition, when I tried to use Hyper-V manager, I received the error ‘The virtual machine management service is not available’.
We thought for a while that it was related to remote rights (WMI/DCOM) on the servers in question (well, technically it is…) and I spent a while trawling through John Howard’s articles relating to the required rights for remote management (well worth a read by the way). Unfortunately even working through the articles didn’t solve my problem.
After a little more rummaging, it turns out that installation of the SCVMM agent onto the servers hosting the virtual machines I want to remotely manage is what is causing the problem. Anyone who is a local admin on the servers in question can freely manage the remote virtual machines; if you’re not a local admin, you can’t. There are two potential solutions to the problem:
Lets be honest, neither option is entirely appealing (it’s not that we don’t trust some of the people who need to remotely manage specific machines, I just always would prefer to work from a ‘minimum rights necessary’ point of view), but as we have some migrations coming soon for which SCVMM is going to really help, we’ve gone for the latter.
I hope that this is something that is corrected in the RTM version of SCVMM 2008!