Frizbits’ Bits

January 30, 2009

P2V Migration experiences with SCVMM 2008 (Updated)

Filed under: Hyper-V, SCVMM, Windows Server 2008 — frizbit @ 11:21 am

I’ve recently been working on a project to migrate several older machines to virtual machines.  I thought I’d talk a little about the experience to give others insight as well as the resources I used.

The solution we came up with was really pretty slick.  To host these machines we deployed a two node Server 2008 cluster running Hyper-V.  There were several hot fixes you will need if you do this and you’ll have to go get them as Windows Update won’t get them all.  Check out these posts on HyperVoria for Hyper-V updates and SCVMM updates.  There’s also a great list of updates and where they are available here.

The cluster was dead simple to set up.  Almost too easy.  Install the Failover Clustering feature (remember its a feature not a role) and open the Failover Management console.  Here you can validate the cluster (checks storage, network, drivers, hardware…) or create the cluster (which will also run the validation tests.  Give it the name of the machines and the cluster is set up.  That’s it.  Don’t forget the Hyper-V clustering update.

After that we installed SCVMM on one of the nodes.  For this test we are just using the trial version but it works for what we need.  Again there are updates here.  Specifically one that fixes some P2V issues so make sure you get that.  We did have to make one little change to the cluster to get this to work better.  Check out the bottom of this post to see how to move the cluster to node 2.  After this all worked as expected.  A better fix would have been to create a VM with 64-bit Server 2008 and install SCVMM there instead of on the physical cluster node.

Migration in SCVMM itself couldn’t be easier.  A Wizard walks you through connecting to the machine and checking out issues.  There are several ways to migrate a machine.  Offline migration reboots the source machine into a VistaSP1\Server08 based WinPE environment and transfers the system from there.  You may need to make sure you have the right drivers in place on the SCVMM host for the NIC and storage systems.  The other mode which I like to use in testing is Online Migration.  This leaves the source computer on and gets the files through a Volume Shadow Copy Service Agent.  The transfer itself is still BITS based as it is with Offline Migration.  Testing a migration online is great, you can simply opt to leave the destination VM network cards unplugged so it won’t interfere with the source computer.  For many production machines such as domain controllers an Offline Migration is recommended when finally moving the production system.

I’ll try to post some more details and walkthroughs shortly on some issues I saw and a bunch of new features in R2 I cant wait to check out.

I’ve used a lot of these tools separately before but this is the first time I was able to bring it all together. 

Update:  I found the Hyper-V comprehensive update list on Microsoft Technet.  Hopefully they keep it up to date as anything new comes out.


June 26, 2008

Hyper-V RTM

Filed under: Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008 — Tags: , — frizbit @ 11:09 am

Microsoft is releasing the RTM of Hyper-V today.  The download officially starts at noon PST.  I’ll be installing it and taking it for a test drive later today.  The lastest RC was very solid so I expect little difference.

Here’s a video from one of the Hyper-V team.

3:48pm EST.  The link finally works for me.  Get the good bits here.

June 9, 2008

Workstation 2008 change continues…

Filed under: Windows Server 2008 — Tags: — frizbit @ 2:09 pm

After my previous post I went ahead and loaded MS Windows Server 2008 on my main workstation at home.  I followed the advise here as well as elsewhere to do this.  Overall I found the process pretty easy.  Popping the DVD in while Vista was running resulted in a large splash screen allowing me to “Install Now”.  I went ahead and did it their way.  While it was copying files I was even able to Alt-Tab back to IE and surf the web while I waited.  The only downside to this was I missed what was probably a timed reboot notice and suddenly my computer was rebooting.  A short time later Server 08 was up.

I’ve been working the last few days playing and tweaking to get things the way I want.  Drivers haven’t really been an issue since I was already running on Vista 64 previously.  I’ve had a few headaches getting my games to run. (I think its a driver issue that may be straightened out after my next reboot)  One or two quirky pieces of software that won’t install. (complains about server OS)

Overall my experience has been positive.  My next steps will be to set up a VM in Hyper-V (already enabled that first thing) and get a Domain Controller up to start testing out some other features.  I’ll continue to post as things come up. 

June 3, 2008

Replacing Vista with Server08

Filed under: Windows Server 2008 — frizbit @ 8:10 am

So My TechNet+ Direct subscription came through.  I tested it out last night be downloading the bits of Windows Server 2008.  I wanted to get more hands on experience with this OS so I’m going to be reloading my main workstation (from Vista Ultimate).

I was intrigued by the various posts out there about running on Server 2008 as a workstation OS.  Of course something like this seems to come up every now and again (with 2000 and 2003).  The thing that pushed me over the edge is the ability to run Hyper-V.  I’m excited to try this out and finally be able to run a VM or two maybe even full time.  I should be able to use this to test out some pretty complex environments.  All on my little old workstation. (Note: it is neither little nor old)  I’ll be sure and post my experiences afterwords.

December 3, 2007

New DNS zone fun

Filed under: Windows Server 2008 — Tags: , , — frizbit @ 11:22 am

Continuing on with my Windows Server 2008 studies I came across something new in DNS.  Since pretty much everyone would like WINS to go away we now have a replacement (sort of).  The GlobalNames zone in DNS.  This new zone will hold single label names similar to WINS.  For example if I have the FQDN in DNS, I can now create a CNAME record in the GlobalNames zone named simply server1.  But how do we resolve these names now?  Well, the order of operations is below….

1. Append the clients primary DNS suffix and try to resolve the name.
2. If that fails, try the other DNS suffixes in the configured search lists.
3. If that still fails, attempt to find name in the Global names zone.
4. Beyond that we can still fail over to WINS if it is still available.

So from this list GlobalNames appears to be the most useful in a multidomain environment.  We will still try all configured DNS suffixes first though, so keep that in mind.  A few other caveats exist for this new zone also.  First of all GlobalNames is forest wide and should be created as an AD integrated zone.  All DNS servers in the forest must be running Server 2008 to get this functionality.  It also doesn’t support dynamic registration of records (although a CNAME can point to a FQDN that is dynamically registered in another zone).  This means its not a total replacement for WINS.  It’s intended for managed records of important resources.

The search order above is very important. If in the example above I had multiple domains, all it would take is for someone to create a server named server1 in a domain in the DNS search order list and their server would resolve instead of my intended global name.

The Deployment guide whitepaper is available here.
I also found this extremely helpful in setting it up on a test server.

November 30, 2007

Brushing up on Server 2008. Roles and Features?

Filed under: Windows Server 2008 — Tags: , , — frizbit @ 3:50 pm

Lately I’ve been digging into Windows Server 2008 with the goal of passing Microsoft’s 70-649 test.  With this in mind I’ll be posting some interesting things I find out along the way.

 The first item I’d like to talk about is Roles and Features.  Windows Server 2008 takes another step down the path of componentizing Windows architecture.  If anyone is familiar with the Exchange 2007 roles the concept will be familiar.  A role is simply a unique function (or service) that the server performs.  Roles are things like DNS server, DHCP server, File server, Active Directory Domain Services (i.e. Domain Controller).  Check here for a complete list of roles. 

 Windows Server 2008 also has something called features.  A feature is a slightly different animal than a role.  A role with provide services for that particular …. role.  A feature provides something not necessarily catigorized as a service provided to others.  It may be management or scripting tools like Powershell, or it could be something to enhance existing roles like Windows Clustering.  So in order to have a clustered file server we install the file server role and the clustering feature.

Confusing?  Maybe.  I think we will all get used to it in the long run.  For the most part the division seems to make sense.  Except… There is always an exception.  DNS server is a role.  WINS server is a feature.  Both services provide name to address network services.  WINS is something Microsoft (and many administrators) have been wanting to get rid of for a long time.  According to this chat transcript thats the only reason WINS is a feature.  Roles stand out as easy to install.  They want WINS slightly buried in order to assist phasing it out.  Seems as good a reason as any i guess.

Blog at