Architecting Hyper-V for EPIC Systems Session– March 25th Washington D.C.

imageThere is still time to signup for the March 25th FREE workshop at the Microsoft office in Chevy Chase, MD (Just outside D.C).  There have been a lot great news coming out of Epic Systems regarding running Epic workloads on Hyper-V.  We will look at Hyper-V from its base features, to architectural design, to how Azure can play a part now and as a easy logical pathway to utilizing public cloud resources.  Again, I do not work for Microsoft myself and have worked with both Epic workloads on hardware, Hyper-V and VMware.  I am looking forward to meeting all the folks that have signed up and educating as well as learning more about your interest in moving your Epic workloads to Hyper-V.

 

Hope To See You There.

To Sign-Up Click HERE

-Rob

Posted in EPIC, Hyper-V, Operations Manager, SCVMM, Vendor, Virtual Server Technology, VMware, Windows Server 2012 R2 | Leave a comment

Recent Article: Keeping Your Tech Skills Current!

The SearchServerVirtualization.com Advisory Board was asked to give our views on what we do to stay current.  This is a question that I get asked quite often.  Here are my go to resources as well as resources others on the Advisory Board turn to.

If you are working in technology, you cannot be afraid of change! Your job right now will be completely different in 10 years. You may still work for the same company, but the technology will change dramatically. You will be left behind and possibly out of a job is you do not keep you skills fresh. Here is how I try to stay current.

Home lab:  I have spent countless hours building, rebuilding, upgrading, and testing new technologies and software in my home lab.  Without this flexible playground, based on virtualized servers, I would be lost.   If you don’t have one, get one.

Conferences:  You were probably told this as you were growing up, but it isn’t always what you know, it is who you know.  From my experience, you do not build technical skills at conferences that you can take back and directly apply.  For me, conferences are my opportunity to network with others.  You and your peers may move between companies and will be great resources for new career opportunities.

Classroom training:  After you have picked the right provider and level of training, then it is better to do offsite training, in my opinion.  I have tried many times to do training online from the office.  It never works.   There will always be some distraction.  If you can, go someplace so you can concentrate.

Certifications:  Being in a technology field, you will probably change jobs more than once.  Investing some time to obtain certifications should be a priority.  They are a differentiator to other candidates with similar experience.  If you can afford it, boot camps are also a way to focus on these certifications.  They will not teach all the details you need for the technology, but they do help you laser focus on the tests.  It’s still up to you to know how to do your job.

Quick list of resources:

See what others on the Advisory Board do to stay on top of their game.

Posted in Articles, Hyper-V, MVP, Virtual Server Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Architecting Hyper-V for EPIC Systems Session– March 25th Washington D.C.

 

UPDATE: The weather didn’t cooperate with our training in on February 18th in D.C.   Luckily it has been rescheduled for March 25th in the same location at the Chevy Chase, MD Microsoft MTC.  Hoping we can get even a bigger group there now what we have a few more weeks work with.  If you are going, let me know.  

Let me start out by saying this is not a training given by EPIC Systems, but by someone (ME) who has been working with Hyper-V in a clinical environment since the early betas of Hyper-V in 2007.  One of those critical clinical components has been EPIC.  In conjunction with Microsoft and XtreamIT, we will be looking at what your current environment looks like, whether it be physical hardware or VMware, and to understand what your overall IT goals are.  We will also going through the many different features of Hyper-V and giving an intense brain dump of everything you need to know about Hyper-V and how to architect it as a stable, scalable and highly available.  The sessions are small and personal with an agenda that looks something like what is on the right, but the goal is to be as flexible as possible tailored to the level of the audience.  This is an exciting time with Hyper-V now officially on the Target Platform List which makes it much easier for technical and management staff to look at a true alternative to the higher prices paid for VMware without sacrificing any performance or vendor incompatibilities.

You can get more info on the workshop by clicking the link below.  And its Free!

http://xtreamit.com/epic-on-hyper-v-workshop/

Posted in EPIC, Hyper-V, Operations Manager, SCVMM, Vendor, Windows Server 2012 R2 | Leave a comment

Hyper-V Now on EPIC Systems Target Platform List!

Its been a long time coming and lots of folks at EPIC Systems and Microsoft have put effort into thoroughly testing EPIC Hyperspace and Web and Services Servers on Hyper-V 2012 R2.  Finally it has passed all the tests and has made the Target Platform List.

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Here are the highlights of the announcement:

  • Hyper-V 2012 R2 is now on the Target Platform for EPIC Hyperspace, and Web and Service Servers
    • EPS, Relay, Hyperspace Web, WBS, Interconnect (Soap, Store and Forward), Cogito DB, Analytics, Tools, Slicer Dicer, Clarity DB etc…
  • The hardware resources (CPU, Memory, Storage) for the Hyper-V host are exactly the same as what you would choose for your ESXi hosts.
  • VM resource allocations are exactly the same as what you would choose for your VMs with VMware

 

Keys takeaways for organizations:

  • Same high application performance and hardware costs as VMware: Documentation and announcement follows the same resource requirements for both VMware and Hyper-V.
  • Unify your virtualization support and general Microsoft application support contracts under one contract:  Premier Support will cover all of these instead of having to supply VMware Business Critical Support AND Microsoft Premier Support as EPIC prescribes as minimum levels of vendor support.  Microsoft Premier Support would cover the virtualization layer as well as the Microsoft application layer across all of your EPIC VMs.
  • Simplify your Host licensing:  If you are running VMware for you EPIC workloads you are probably already buying Windows Server Datacenter licenses for your VMware hosts (or you should be) in order to get unlimited/free server licensing for all VMs that reside on that hosts. Since you already own these licenses, there would be no additional cost in Microsoft licensing to move forward with Hyper-V as your hypervisor.  Only rebuilding you hosts with Windows Datacenter Edition or even Windows Server Core or Hyper-V server if you are looking for a smaller footprint with less maintenance and the exact same feature set.

 

I will reiterate what Stu said above.  “If you haven’t recently spoken with me or with your primary Hyperspace and Desktop Client Systems TS, and you are deploying or considering deploying Hyperspace on Hyper-V virtual Citrix XenApp servers, please reach out to discuss your particular environment.”  Like any virtual environment you need to architect it correctly.

Posted in EPIC, Hyper-V, Operations Manager, SCVMM, Vendor, Virtual Server Technology, Windows Server 2012 R2 | 3 Comments

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

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

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Recent Articles: Docker Containers and Hopes for More!

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)

Posted in Hyper-V | 1 Comment

PowerShell Snip of the Week (Get-SCVirutalNetworkAdapter)

 

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

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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”

Example:

Get-SCVirtualMachine | Get-SCVirtualNetworkAdapter | ? IPv4Addresses -eq 10.1.1.74

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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>”

Example:

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

Posted in Hyper-V, PowerShell, SCVMM, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment