Experiences in a Virtual World

Recent Article: Old OS Past It’s Born On Date = Bad AfterTaste

leave a comment »

imageThis month’s Advisory Board article focused on whether there is still an appropriate use case for continuing to use old, unsupported, software.  Naturally the topic of the Windows Server 2003 End of Support date (7/14/2015) approaching was hot on everyone’s mind on whether is still has some use cases.  Here is my take.


Know when it is time to let it go — old software, that is. Too often, old versions of OSes or applications are left in service well past their expiration date. Old software is not like a good wine. It does not get better with age. It gets skunky like beer.

The next stinker close to its expiration date is Windows Server 2003. It was a great OS in its day. If you choose to keep it in services, I am not even worried about its long-term security as a server OS inside your network. Where I see its shortcomings is in its lack of performance (predominantly 32-bit only), resource capacity for modern applications, and infrastructure support is dwindling (e.g., hypervisor, SANs, drivers, etc).

Most IT professionals welcome modern software. It’s what we do. I find software vendors to be the major headache in the push forward. Working primarily in the medical industry, I see that less than one year before its send off, major medical vendors are still putting Windows 2003 as their only supported platform. Most of them hide behind the FDA certification, but have failed to resubmit their solutions back to the FDA for approval with modern software updates. I know recertification has costs, but shame on them for waiting so long.

If you have an old piece of software that has been running on Windows 2003, then yes, it could be fine. But, if it is running on physical hardware, then it is only a matter of time before it dies. These IT anchors will also drag down your virtual environment upgrades. New versions of both Hyper-V and VMware due in 2015 are bound to drop support for the ageing server OS. Again, you could probably get it to work, but for how long?


Check out the other Advisory Board responses from Brian Kirsch, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Dave Sobel, Level Platforms Inc. HERE

Written by VirtuallyAware

November 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Recent Articles: Docker Containers and Hopes for More!

with one comment

Docker is hot these days and is gaining the eye of the technology giants like Microsoft, Google and Amazon in their own ways.  Last month’s SearchServerVirtualization Advisory Board took on the question of the viability of Container Applications.  Here is my take on it.

“ Container applications may not be a new concept, but Docker is the most recent torch bearer of its metamorphosis into a functional tool for enterprises.  I say tool, because there is still some work to do here, as it is currently limited to Linux-based applications, but it has caught the eye of many big players like VMware, Amazon, and Microsoft.

With support from the top private and public entities, their focus has been providing a platform for the Docker containers to run, but nonetheless it shows there is competition brewing.  If you want to know more about Docker, hit up Youtube or even the Docker website.

Docker’s ability to build, execute a process, and then tear it down in just a few seconds is the epitome of on-demand computing.  The ability to run an application without the overhead of a separate operating system instance also puts it on a level above virtual machine architecture in stretching physical resources.

In my opinion, there are real world uses for this technology today inside the enterprise as part of the private or public cloud strategy in meeting specific application needs. However, questions still remain, such as:  will Docker be around in 2 years?  Will a major application presentation player scoop it up and bring it to the next level? (i.e. Citrix or Microsoft).  From my standpoint, without support for Windows applications, or even support from vendors on this type of computing, becoming a mainstay in the enterprise space is still a ways off. “

Look for more exciting announcements by Microsoft, Google and Amazon soon, and start to really look and study up on the technology.  Container Technology may be finally getting over the hump with a big nudge by these players.


Check out the full article here as well as responses from Jason Helmick (Concentrated Technology) and Brian Kirsch (Milwaukee Area Technical College)

Written by VirtuallyAware

November 5, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Posted in Hyper-V

PowerShell Snip of the Week (Get-SCVirutalNetworkAdapter)

leave a comment »


powershell_2Ben Armstrong recently posted a method on Listing all the IP Addresses used by VMs.  The Method was pretty straight forward and gave back some great information.  It got me thinking of how enterprise customers could do this using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.  Here is what I came up with for this weeks PowerShell Snip of the Week.


Find IPv4 and IPv6 IP Addresses for all Running VMs:

Get-SCVirtualMachine | ? StatusString –eq “Running” | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ft Name, IPv4AddressType, IPv4Addresses, IPv6Addresses –a



With this base there are a whole variety of options you could get from this if you twist the script a little.

Find Information about a server with a specific IP Address:

Sometimes in a troubleshooting scenario you get limited information.  Many times that information comes from the network team or from a Firewall log where only the an IP Address of a VM is known.

Get-SCVirtualMachine | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ? IPv4Addresses –eq “IPADDRESS”


Get-SCVirtualMachine | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ? IPv4Addresses -eq


This gets you some valuable information in your troubleshooting, most notably, the name of the VM so that you can now start to look at it directly.

Find VMs with duplicate MAC Addresses or Just track down a VM by MAC Address:

Modifying the script in a different way, looking for MAC Address, allows for another common troubleshooting scenario where VMs have the same virtual MAC Address.  It doesn’t happen all that often, but it can be tricky to track down when it does.  The following script will return the VM with the MAC Address you are looking for or multiple VMs if they share the same MAC Address.

Get-SCVirtualMachine | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ? MACAddress -eq “<MACADDRESS>”


Get-SCVirtualMachine | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ? MACAddress -eq “00:15:5D:F3:F8:03”

Written by VirtuallyAware

April 22, 2014 at 8:27 AM

PowerShell Snip of the Week – (Get-VMIntegrationService)

leave a comment »


Finding the status of a VMs or all your VMs Integration Components can be a very useful troubleshooting tool when you are having various VM management issues.  Examples could be that VMs that have the correct Integration Components versions are slipping into saved state or maybe the VM is not responding to a shutdown command from the Hyper-V or SCVMM console.  I have seen both of these.  This week I have a couple of examples for you that might just come in handy if you come across a VM that just is not responding as a fully enlightened VM should.

These scripts need to be run from a Workstation/Server that has the Hyper-V PowerShell Components

View Status of all Integration Components for a VM:

Get-VM -ComputerName HOSTNAME–VMName <VMNAME>| Get-VMIntegrationService| ft VMName, Name, primarystatusDescription, Enabled

If all ICs are in a good state you will see this  output


If you see this, the VM will go into Saved State when backups are performed



To get just the VMs with Integration Services that have a Primary Status of “No Contact” you can use this method:

$s = “VMHOST1″,”VMHOST2″

foreach ($server in $s) {Get-VM -ComputerName $server | Get-VMIntegrationService| ? primarystatusdescription -like “no*” | ft VMName, Name, primarystatusDescription, Enabled}


Output will look like this if there are any VMs with IC Contact issues.



My next post will go more deeply into what to do when you see these issues with Integration Components.

Written by VirtuallyAware

April 14, 2014 at 8:27 AM

PowerShell Snip of the Week (Get-WinEvent)

leave a comment »

VMs that went into Saved State in the Last Day

imageDuring the migration of VMs to a Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 environment you may find that some of your VMs go in to Saved State when the backup process kicks off.  This may be because you have not updated the Integration Components, there is a problem with the Integration Component install or some other issue where the Hyper-V Writers determine that the VM should be backed up offline (Look for a post on this soon).  During this time of troubleshooting you can go to the Windows-Hyper-V-Worker-Admin event log on each server to identify which VMs are having this issue by looking for event 18510.  If you have a larger environment this gets a little inefficient.

I have used the script below during my troubleshooting.  You could easily change this to either look to a server list text file or even to accept a switch.




foreach ($server in $s) {Get-WinEvent -ComputerName $server -FilterHashTable @{LogName =”Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-worker-admin”; StartTime = (Get-Date).AddDays(-1)} | ? id -eq 18510}

Written by VirtuallyAware

April 7, 2014 at 8:27 AM

PowerShell Snip of the Week (SCVMM)

with one comment


imageHere is this weeks PowerShell Snip of the Week.

Using Get-VirtualNetworkAdapter.

When looking into a recent issue with a NIC Team on a host, I had a need for a quick way to identify which VMs were using a particular logical network and their MAC Address so that the VM(s) traffic could be identified with WireShark.

This snip targets VMs on a specified cluster that are assigned to a certain logical network.

Get-VMHostCluster CLUSTERNAME | Get-VMHost| Get-VM |Get-VirtualNetworkAdapter |? LogicalNetwork -eq “LOGICALNETWORKNAME”| FT name, logicalnetwork, macaddress -a

Written by VirtuallyAware

March 31, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Deep Dive Day 2014 is Just Around the Corner

leave a comment »

There is still time to sign-up for Virtualization Deep Dive Day 2014 on March 12th. This has been a great day to Network with peers, learn about new products in virtualization, as well as network with some very bright folks. 

I am going to be talking about important features in Hyper-V 2012 and 2012 R2 that really matter to administrators and how the can be practically used in your environment.  As always there will be lot of demos and time to chat before or after one-on-one.  

You can register HERE.

clip_image002 VirtG Presents

The Sixth Annual Virtualization Deep Dive Day 2014

An event for Information Technology Professionals

Event location: Date: Wednesday, March 12th

Microsoft Time: 8:00AM – 5:00PM

4th Floor, Multi-Purpose Rooms Information and Registration:

One Cambridge Center (1CC)

Cambridge, MA. 02142 Morning snacks and lunch are free.

Deep Dive Day 2014 is a multi-track event put on by the Virtualization Group Boston (VirtG). Experts from around the country will be providing great technical talks covering every form of virtualization. Also, visit with industry leading vendors in the exhibition area.

Whether you are new to virtualization or want the technical details on the latest for server, desktop, application, networking, security and storage virtualization, plus "The Cloud", you don’t want to miss this event. Refer to the schedule below for all the great breakout sessions.


clip_image006 clip_image008 clip_image010 clip_image012 clip_image014 clip_image016 clip_image018 clip_image020 `

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 28, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Posted in Hyper-V


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 328 other followers

%d bloggers like this: