Experiences in a Virtual World

Archive for February 2012

Windows Server 8 Beta Install in 20 Pictures

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Written by VirtuallyAware

February 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Posted in Hyper-V

From the DPM Storage Calculator–DPM 2010’s Biggest Weakness

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The newest versions of the Storage Calculators for DPM 2010 were republished and they confirm what has plagued me for years when trying to backup Hyper-V VMs to disk.  If you look at the screenshot below from the DPM 2010 calculator for Hyper-V you will see that for the 3 host example there is 465GB of VMs.

Microsoft Excel - DPM 2010 Storage Calculator for Hyper-V

As you scan down however you see that in order to keep a 7 day retention (15% churn noted on another tab) on these VMs you will need a little greater than 1TB to back it up. 1TB is not that large these days, but the percentage of additional disk space over the source data is greater than 100%. In my environment I have over 20TB of VMs this would equate to 40TB+ of data for DPM disk based backups. That number gets a little expensive and is the reason why I do not use DPM disk based backups. Lets hope the deduplication feature in Windows Server 8 has some significant effect on storage space requirements in DPM 2012. If not, look for 3rd party Hyper-V backup vendors that already include a deduplication (i.e. Veeam, Altaro) to continue to gain customers.

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Posted in DPM, Hyper-V

Recent Article: The Hardware Requirements for Testing Hyper-V 3.0

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Testing Hyper-V 3.0 is a worthwhile side project, as it will help you attain valuable skills and experience before the official release of Windows Server 8. But, first, you need to assemble the proper hardware.

The hardware requirements for Hyper-V 3.0 are relatively mundane, making it easy to set up a Hyper-V 3.0 sandbox before its release.

The hardware requirements for a Hyper-V 3.0 sandbox

Your success with a production environment depends, in part, on your choice of hardware and associated technologies. But for a Hyper-V 3.0 test server, however, there is a broad range of hardware possibilities that you may already have at your disposal.

Most hardware from the last three years will likely support Hyper-V 3.0, so a spare server or desktop computer may suffice. Check out the following hardware requirements and recommendations to ensure compatibility with Hyper-V 3.0:

To see the rest of the Hardware Requirement details, click HERE.

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Virtualization Group – Boston Deck is Now Uploaded

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The presentation deck from last nights Virtualization Group – Boston is now uploaded.  You can get it from the link below or view decks from my recent events from the “Shared Files” section in the right-hand bar.

VirtG-Bos 02/16/2012 – “Hyper-V 3.0: Top Features Administrators For The Everyday Administrator

Thanks to Tim Mangan and Dan Stolts for the invite.

If you are in the area, check out one of their Monthly meetings or attend the upcoming Deep Dive Day on March 10th in Randolph, MA.

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

System Center 2012 Licensing Limiting the Public Cloud?

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Reading through the licensing documents of the upcoming System Center 2012 I came across the FAQ document that touches on the number of OSEs (Operating System Environments) that you are entitled to run for free based on which level of the Suite you purchase.  See below for excerpt from FAQ document.

13. Can I extend a Server ML to manage applications running on the public cloud?  Yes, with the License Mobility through Software Assurance benefit, you can assign Server ML to manage applications running on a public cloud infrastructure. System Center 2012 Standard licenses allow you to manage two virtual OSE in a public cloud, while System Center 2012 Datacenter licenses allow you to manage up to eight virtual OSEs in a public cloud. For more information, see the Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance Customer Guide.

Only 8 OSEs in System Center 2012 Datacenter came as a surprise to me as the Datacenter version of every product Microsoft sells has come with unlimited virtualization rights.  This is one of the biggest advantages Microsoft has over VMware at the moment where if you buy the Datacenter version of Windows, you get Hyper-V and all Windows Server OSEs are free of charge that run on this host license.  This is the same with the current and future System Center Datacenter Suite for your private cloud, but if you extend into the public cloud, after you get to your 9th VM in the cloud, you will have to start layering additional System Center 2012 licenses, muddying the easy licensing tracking professed in the current marketing of the new suites. Just think about having hundreds of OSEs in the public cloud.  For most, 8 VMs in the public cloud may be high or just about right for many organizations today, but with the push toward the public cloud this number will soon surpassed.

Not long ago I thought it would be unthinkable to have hundreds or thousands of VMs or consolidation ratios of 50 VMs to a host, but with the maturing of hypervisors and modern hardware leaps, these numbers are very attainable, as too will be managing more than 8 OSEs in the public cloud.

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Posted in Hyper-V, SCVMM

Vendor Spotlight: Altaro Hyper-V Backup V3 Released Today

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I have made a point to spotlight vendors who have embraced Hyper-V.  Seeing more and more of vendors getting excited about the potential market opportunities that Hyper-V is bringing as a result of its increasing market share is a great thing.  With their success, they are an integral part of spurring on industry growth of investors or other vendors creating innovative technologies or creating more efficient methods of administration.  

Altaro has been a provider of physical server backup software since 2009 who has ventured into the Hyper-V backup space with their “Altaro Hyper-V Backup” product.  Building on past versions with mature features like being fully VSS aware, Exchange VM and SQL VM aware, file level VM restores and alternate host restores to name a few, version 3 adds the flexibility of Central Management of CSV Clusters, and boasting 300% faster backups with “on-the-fly deduplication,” features not yet released even in Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager.

It is refreshing to see a company, focusing on backup, not stuck in the way physical backups have been handled for decades. Take the product for a spin (there is even a Free version), call up support, and you will find it a great experience with a knowledgeable forward thinking company.



Written by VirtuallyAware

February 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Posted in Hyper-V

Could System Center 2012 be Good for 3rd Party Hyper-V Vendor Market Share?

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The upcoming Microsoft System Center 2012 licensing changes are a good value for many customers, previous or new.  For those already using a previous System Center suite or may have been using individual components of the system center family, the change simplifies licensing and also adds some additional products for little or no change in price.  But the change got me thinking about the many organizations I know that only need the functionality of one or two of the components that are now be forced into one of the larger and potentially more costly System Center 2012 Suites.

With the introduction of the two new product suites, Microsoft’s goal is to envelope a company with it’s products to manage their private cloud, but could they be alienating their many smaller customers or future customers by reducing choices and decreasing purchasing flexibility?   The individual System Center product offerings seemed like the perfect vector for Microsoft to pull organization up into the larger and more expensive suites of products.  This is how I became a System Center Datacenter Suite customer, by first looking for a backup solution, SCDPM, then a monitoring solution SCOM, and then a Hyper-V management solution, SCVMM.  By the time I got to the third individual product it was more cost effective to go with one of the suites.

The Market:

As Hyper-V has proven its reliability and has matured, market share has grown, and with market share has come management and monitoring vendors that see potential profits by expanding their products from VMware based products to Hyper-V like Veeam or Quest, or vendors that have had offerings for physical servers and moved into the Hyper-V space like Altaro or vendors that sprung up, completely focusing on Hyper-V like 5Nine.  You can also bet that with the release of Hyper-V 3.0 just around the corner, there are even more vendors and entrepreneurs taking notice of this maturing market opportunity.

What’s in it for the Vendors?

For many non-enterprise companies, who might just be looking for a Backup, Management,  and/or Monitoring solution for their Hyper-V environment, looking at 3rd party vendor solutions could help save considerable money over the encompassing System Center 2012 offerings.  Even for larger enterprises, having to jump into a full product suite where there could be other existing product overlap with other vendors, may be enough to at least open the door to looking at a 3rd party product.

More importantly for vendors, this could be a critical time to increase product marketing and get very aggressive with their pricing strategies to try to capture companies that might be feeling forced into the new Microsoft private cloud model.   So bring on the competing product trade-in discounts, the free support/maintenance fees, and throw in a free t-shirt or two.  There’s market share to be had!

Written by VirtuallyAware

February 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Posted in DPM, Hyper-V, Hyper-V 3.0, SCVMM


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