Friday, September 16, 2011

HYPER-V 101

Before I even start of blogging on HYPER-V, I was thinking whether should I do it as in the market leader for now might not be Microsoft. But years have past and I think for future improvement there will be a hope and I will try as much as possible to cover those areas of concern from company perspective, administration perspective , monitoring using open source tools and also most important people view toward on Microsoft product.I am not selling any product here but just to share the overview of it.:)

Virtualization have its own benefit especially when you want to have the following:
a)Reduction on cost of expenses
- data center consolidation
- branches consolidation
b)Increasing the availability of services
- IT Continuity or Disaster Recovery
c)Reduction of time in term of new deployment and setup.
- Test environment

I have been managing VMware environment quite for few year and during the introduction to us, the first thing that it scared us most will be, the kernel is on redhat enterprise 3.Luckily I do have skills on linux platform and it won't be that scary anyway and we always worry about the management of it as our critical production server is sitting on top of the vmware actualization. But as year past, you will get use to it and it won't be a problem for you.This will apply for HYPER-V as well, your impression will be virus, worms and patches and you might need to install antivirus too. Come on guys let face the fact, even in the vmware environment although the virus and worms is not commonly appear but I guess a lot of skillful linux people they can write bash job to cause interruption to the kernel such as using bash job or cron( task scheduler in windows).

As I see, even some company that they use VMware they still hit to a big problem but it is not a product problem and it is always human. So i believe if we manage the HYPER-V well we shouldn't be hitting to those problem.I will blog more on this area and some of it , I might need to review with principal (Microsoft) whether I can blog info on the risk of real hacking where my major is.(this would be an interesting topic:>)

Let get started.......

Before we start a visualization project, you always need to have the following understanding
a)your requirement
1)I want to pay less for my windows licensing
2)I want to have a distributed resource scheduling?
3)Budget will be consists of storage cost, fiber switch and etc and if you don't have those what are the available option for you if you need HIGH availability for your host?
4)end to end support
5)ease of management
6)Risk free?
7)Support for your software(e.g. IBM lotus notes and etc)
8)Supported operating system
.
.
.
.
and etc

This is important during the initial is because if you have a wrong direction and you will invest in a wrong way. The requirement of HYPER-V it is not that complicated, let get to understand the most critical services HYPER-V cluster service. It is needed for the following:
1)Failover clustering (Hyper-V term) or VMwareHA (VMware term)
2)live migration(Hyper-V term) or Vmotion (VMware term)

This is important as need to know what are the operating system that we need to select, as per below will be the list of the option you have
1)Window 2008 R2 (enterprise / Datacenter)


After we have all the requirement ready, the next steps will be people, you will need to check and see whether the team have the capability on running on text base windows which is HYPER-V 2008 R2. I would see no point saving money on it if you don't have the skills, it is just like giving you a stable system such as AS400 but because you don't have knowledge on it. The availability of the system is impacted.I hope this is guide is clear for you to choose the type of version.


About what visualization is, let me keep it simple. It is a consolidation of all the operating system (guest OS) into a single box to optimize the server usage. This will include CPU, memory and network card.

One of the minor concern on HYPER-V will be the network teaming, as the url above. But I hope this will be included probably in another release
Info: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968703

I will give more technical screenshot on how to configure and install on my next blog. Since I don't have 20 grand to buy a highly powerful machine. I just use 3 notebook (IBM T400) to setup for 2 hyperV server and configure a iSCSI 3.3 on Windows 2008 R2 64 Bit. Please do take note on the following. HYPER-V only support iSCSI version 3 and not version 2. I have try to configure an opensource iSCSI on linux environment and it failed.But I will go through it with you as Microsoft have a great tools for validation.:). Also when you try to configure the cluster it did mention it is only supported for HYPER-V

ISCSI 3.3
Info : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg232606(WS.10).aspx
Download : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=19867


About on the network card design, mostly I would strongly recommend to have 4 nics for the purpose as below, but on my test lab i only have 1.But this is only for best practice. Probably you will have 5, the last will be for backup purpose.The usage will be for the following
1)Nic 1 (Cluster Shared Volume)
2)Nic 2 (Live Migration)
3)Nic 3 (VM network)
4)Nic 4 (Management)

About the feature, I will just highlight those important
1)live migration to migrate server with no downtime
2)Core parking (Shutting down CPU core if it is not in use) - this feature is for power saving

If you are using IBM x3650M3 you will only have 8 cores, most probably the cores wont be sleeping all the time:)

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