XenDesktop is one of the leading VDI solutions right now due to its ability to run on the three major virtualization platforms. When running Windows 7 SP1 VDI desktops with XenDesktop you may want to take advantage of Dynamic Memory for the workloads to increase VM density. Unfortunately this cannot be done within XenDesktop at the time but you can do so via PowerShell.
The following script created by Vlad Borodin and edited by my colleague Alex Khassanov will find all VMs on a Hyper-V host and enable Dynamic Memory on them. You’ll need to know the Hyper-V host name, the prefix for the VDI VMs as well as the startup, maximum and buffer settings for Dynamic Memory.
# PowerShell Script for changing RAM settings for several machines
# Vlad Borodin (email@example.com)
# 05 Mar, 2011
# Modified by AK, Jan-24-2012. Enable dynamic memory, set dynamic memory params
Continue reading XenDesktop VDI and Dynamic Memory
Windows PowerShell is a “powerful” method of managing servers and in Windows 8 it becomes even more powerful. Hyper-V R1 and R2 didn’t have native PowerShell cmdlets built in. If you deployed SCVMM you would have access to the VMM servers cmdlets or you could download the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V from Codeplex.
In Windows 8 there are specific cmdlets for Hyper-V (around 150 by my count) to help you manage your Hyper-V R3 environment via the command line. Eric Bahna from Microsoft produced this video detailing some of the things you can do with PowerShell in Hyper-V R3.
I know it is hard to see what is going on but thankfully he produced a set up guide and a step by step guide so you can reproduce this demo in your test lab.
VMWare has had Storage VMotion available as an option for a while now and with SCVMM 2008 R2 Microsoft added Storage Quick Migration. Storage Quick Migration worked well but there was downtime involved and it wasn’t an ideal solution. In Hyper-V R3 Microsoft has added the ability to live migrate storage.
Select Move and the Move VM wizard will begin. Select the type of move you want to perform.
Next select how you want to move the storage. You can consolidate all the VM files to a single location, split the VM files to different locations or move only the VHD files.
In this sample we are moving all the files to a
Continue reading Hyper-V R3 Storage Migration
Windows Server 8 brings with it Hyper-V R3. Within R3 there are quite a few new features and two specific to storage that I know a lot of people are looking forward too. The first one I have been asked about hundreds of times and it is finally available in Windows 8 Hyper-V, virtual fibre channel HBAs. You can now connect a Hyper-V R3 virtual machine to a fibre channel SAN.
The virtual FC HBA does have a few requirements:
- A server running Windows Server 8 with Hyper-V role installed.
- The server requires a Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) with a driver that supports Virtual Fibre Channel. See this list for your options
- A virtual machine configured to use a virtual Fibre Channel adapter
- The VM OS must be Windows 2008, 2008 R2 or Windows Server 8
- Note you cannot boot from a virtual FC LUN
Windows Server 8 also brings a new disk
Continue reading Hyper-V R3 Storage Improvements
Richard talks to Rodney Buike about how System Center 2012 facilitates the construction of private clouds. This is where System Center all comes together – utilizing Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Service Manager and Orchestrator to create effective private cloud infrastructure in your own data center. Rodney talks about how each of the System Center components work together to simplify the deployment of services – beyond the individual VM and into a suite of VM, networking rules, storage, etc. Each of the System Center products bring something to the table in this scenario. You should already be using them for their core purposes, now take it to the next level!
Listen to the 36 minute podcast here…..
While at TechDays in Toronto, Richard talks to Rodney Buike about virtualizing desktops. Rodney digs into how Citrix’s XenDesktop can let you use Windows 7 applications on your iPad! The conversation also explores the use of application virtualization to minimize storage use and simplify software updates, as well as an approach to using desktop virtualization to keep older workstations up and running for longer. VDI is coming of age, and Rodney digs into how to get things done.
Listen to the 30 minute podcast here…
In a typical Hyper-V R2 cluster built on Microsoft’s best practices will have 6-8 NICs depending on the SAN type (iSCSI or FC) including:
- Management Network
- VM Network
- VM Network
- CSV Network
- Live Migration Network
- Cluster Heartbeat Network
- iSCSI MPIO (or FC adapter)
- iSCSI MPIO (or FC adapter)
One common issue that comes up in this scenario is failed Live Migrations, Quick Migrations will work but live ones will not. When you attempt a Live Migration and it fails due to “A cluster network is not available for this operation” it is caused by improper NIC Binding Order on the Hyper-V Hosts. When this happens two events are created in the Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V High Availability\Admin event log on the destination server. Look for EventID 21126 and 21111
Your first thought will be to check that all the cluster resources are online and you will find they are. When this happens you need
Continue reading Live Migration NIC Binding
I recently completed a project converting a clients production network of 70+ servers to virtual machines for a lab environment. SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1 was used to perform a physical to virtual conversion of all the physical servers. While the large majority converted without any issues at all there were a few errors encountered along the way that were easy to fix.
VSS Writer did not respond within the expected time interval – Error 13243
This was an interesting error that came up twice and both times the fix was the same. While the error looks like an issue with VSS it is actually a profile issue. When I attempted to log on to the server to investigate the VSS issue the logon would fail with a User Profile Could Not Load error. I’ve seen this before on desktop PCs when the user
Continue reading Common P2V Conversion Errors
When you are deploying new VMs with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 you have the option to mount an ISO image to install the OS from. When you do this the default behaviour is to copy the ISO file from the library to the location where the VM is being created. This causes two things to happen, first you have to copy the ISO over the network and second you end up losing that storage space as the ISO remains in the VM file location.
SCVMM allows you the option to share the ISO rather than copying it. While the data in the ISO still gets copied over the network during the install, the ISO isn’t saved to the VM file location and in the long run this will save you some space.
To implement this you need to configure some
Continue reading Sharing ISOs in SCVMM Library
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Operations Manager 2007 R2 can be integrated to provide reporting and a feature called Performance Resource Optimization (PRO). Using PRO, Operations Manager will pass alerts raised in relation to the virtualization hosts and/or VM(s) to the Virtual Machine Manager console through something called a Pro Tip.
Implementing PRO and reporting is pretty straight forward but before you start add the SCVMM Service Account to the SCOM Advanced Operators role as it will require permissions to SCOM. Once complete insert the SCVMM install media into your SCOM server and run the SCVMM Setup.
Select Configure Operations Manager. You will need to provide some basic information including the SCVMM servername, service account credentials and the tool will install the SCVMM Management Console on the server as well as importing the SCVMM 2008 R2 management packs.
(Note: You will have
Continue reading Using Pro Tips in SCVMM 2008 R2