Below are the screen shots that walk you through the process of installing Windows Server 8 Beta on VMware Workstation 8. I have notated the most important things to notice.
Take note, I choose Windows 7, NOT Windows 7 64-bit. I’m not sure it matters, but I believe this will work best for you.
The download is pre-licenses, so you don’t have to enter anything here. However, this will cause problems later if you don’t disconnect the floppy – more on this later.
Click Customize Hardware
Choose the processor that matches your host and enable Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT (your processor must support this) if you want to run the Hyper-V role on this server. See my earlier blog post on how to make that happen.
Make sure you unselect “Power on this virtual machine after creation”, we need to edit one more thing before we continue.
After you create the VM, go back in and disconnect the Floppy, otherwise the install will fail because the autoinst.flp is missing the product key.
A long while later after a few reboots…
You are now ready to use Windows Server 8 Beta! I have not installed the VMware tools yet, but I’ll probably try later. If you try it let me know what you think.
Windows Server 8 Developer Preview will not support the Hyper-V Role while running on VMware Workstation…at least on my laptop
Unless someone knows a trick that I don’t, it doesn’t appear as if I will be able to test out some of the Hyper-V clustering features unless I identify some actual hardware for Windows 8. I had hoped that just maybe VMware Workstation 8 would be able to fool Windows 8 into thinking it was actually a physical server, but so far no dice. This article appears to indicate it will work if you have an Intel Nehalem or Intel Core i7 processor, but my two year old Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 doesn’t seem to be able to do the trick.
I added the hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE” to the config file and I changed the CPU settings to use Intel VT –x/EPT as shown below.
But this is what I get when I try to enable the Hyper-V role.
Maybe it is time to invest in a new laptop?
I’m pretty excited that I was able to get Windows Server 8 up and running on my laptop today. I wasn’t really looking forward to having to boot from VHD just to check out some of the features. I really wanted to run multiple copies of Windows Server 8 at the same time so I could check out some of the cool new clustering features, so once again, booting my laptop from a VHD really wasn’t going to give me the experience I needed. I do have some servers running Hyper-V that would have been fine, but I really like having something quick and easy on my laptop that I can fire up anywhere at any time. VMware Workstation has been my go to virtualization platform for my Windows 7 laptop for quite some time due to the lack of a real client based hypervisor alternative from Microsoft.
When I downloaded the Windows Server 8 Developer Preview Edition from MSDN earlier this week I was assuming I was getting an installation ISO. What I discovered was that I actually downloaded a pre-installed VHD. I haven’t gone back yet to check to see if there is an ISO, but from reading the blogs it appears there is an ISO available somewhere, so I probably just grabbed the wrong file. Without a Hyper-V player available for Windows 7 (well, maybe VirtualBox?), I decided to get really crazy and try out the free Starwind V2V Converter and turn it into a bootable VMDK file so I could launch it in VMware Workstation.
I found the Starwind V2V Converter to be very straight forward and soon enough I had a VMDK file ready to launch in VMware Workstation. What I soon found out was that you cannot run Windows Server 8 Developer Preview in VMware Workstation 7; you need the newly released Workstation 8. In VMware Workstation you get a message that begins as follows…
*** VMware Workstation internal monitor error ***
So, I went ahead and upgrade to Workstation 8 and tried to turn on the converted VMDK file. At first I got a message about hardware being changed and the VM would not start, but after I adjusted the processor so that it match the processor that I have (1 CPU, 2 Core) the VM launched! One other setting you need to make sure to set right is the operating system version. Since Windows 8 is not an option yet, choose Windows 7. Windows 7 x64 doesn’t work – make sure you choose Windows 7!
I tried to install the VMware tools, but that didn’t work out so well for me as I simply got a black screen with a pointer after the tools were installed. Until they come out with VMware tools specific for Windows 8 I would avoid installing the VMware tools for the time being.
Here is my first view of Windows 8. I’ll be writing more about the HA features and Hyper-V next week once I start poking around J
Just one week after Microsoft Management Summit 2011 (MMS), Microsoft Learning will be hosting an exclusive three-day Jump Start class specially tailored for VMware and Microsoft virtualization technology pros. Registration for “Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals” is open now and will be delivered as a FREE online class on March 29-31, 2010 from 10:00am-4:00pm PDT.
What’s the high-level overview?
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Day 1 will focus on “Platform” (Hyper-V, virtualization architecture, high availability & clustering)
- 10:00am – 10:30pm PDT: Virtualization 360 Overview
- 10:30am – 12:00pm: Microsoft Hyper-V Deployment Options & Architecture
- 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Differentiating Microsoft and VMware (terminology, etc.)
- 2:00pm – 4:00pm: High Availability & Clustering
- 10:00am – 10:30pm PDT: Virtualization 360 Overview
Day 2 will focus on “Management” (System Center Suite, SCVMM 2012 Beta, Opalis, Private Cloud solutions)
- 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT: System Center Suite Overview w/ focus on DPM
- 11:00am – 12:00pm: Virtual Machine Manager 2012 | Part 1
- 1:00pm – 1:30pm: Virtual Machine Manager 2012 | Part 2
- 1:30pm – 2:30pm: Automation with System Center Opalis & PowerShell
- 2:30pm – 4:00pm: Private Cloud Solutions, Architecture & VMM SSP 2.0
- 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT: System Center Suite Overview w/ focus on DPM
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- 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Architecture | Part 1
- 11:00am – 12:00pm: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Architecture | Part 2
- 1:00pm – 2:30pm: v-Alliance Solution Overview
- 2:30pm – 4:00pm: Application Delivery for VDI
- 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Architecture | Part 1
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Suggested prerequisite skills include real-world experience with Windows Server 2008 R2, virtualization and datacenter management. The course is tailored to these types of roles:
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Register: Visit the Registration Page and sign up for all three sessions
Blog: Learn more from the Microsoft Learning Blog
Twitter: Here are a few posts you can retweet:
Mar. 29-31 “Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros” @SymonPerriman Corey Hynes http://bit.ly/JS-Hyper-V
@SysCtrOpalis Mar. 29-31 “Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros” @SymonPerriman Corey Hynes http://bit.ly/JS-Hyper-V
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What is a “Jump Start” course?
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I answer this question often enough that I thought I should probably but a link to it in my blog.
This article tells you everything you need to know. However, what you may not realize is that by following the instructions in the article you are minimizing the amount of planned downtime while also giving yourself the opportunity to “test” the update on one node before your upgrade both nodes. If the upgrade does not go well on the first node, at least the application is still running on the second node until you can figure out what went wrong.
This is just one of the side benefits that you get when you cluster at the application layer vs. clustering at the hypervisor layer. If this were simply a VM in an availability group, you would have to schedule downtime to complete the application upgrade and hope that it all went well as the only failback is to restore the VM from backup. As I discussed in earlier articles, there is a benefit to clustering at the hypervisor level, but you have to understand what you are giving up as well.
Every time I read a blog post, or open a magazine article about virtualization and disaster recovery I see the same thing….VMware has a more robust DR solution than Microsoft. Well, I’d like to challenge that assumption. From the view where I sit, this is actually one of the areas where Microsoft has a major competitive advantage at the moment. Here is how I see it.
VMware Site Recovery Manager
This is an optional additional add on that rides on the back of Array based replication solutions. While the recovery point objective is good due to the array based replication, the RTO is measured in hours, not minutes. Add in the fact that moving back to the primary data center is a very manual procedure which basically requires that you re-create your jobs in the opposite direction; the complete end to end recovery operation of failover and failback could take the better part of a day or longer.
Microsoft Multi-Site Cluster
Virtual machine HA clustering is included with the free version of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, as well as with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Datacenter editions. In order to do multi-site clusters, it requires array based replication or host based replication solutions that integrate with Windows Server Failover Clustering. With a multi-site cluster, failover is measured in minutes (just about the time it takes to start a VM) and can be used with array based replication solutions such as EMC SRDF CE or HP MSA CLX or the much less expensive host based replication solutions such as SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition.
Not only is failover quick with Hyper-V multi-site clusters, measured in just a few minutes, failback is also quick and seamless as well. Add in support for Live Migrations or Quick Migration across Data Centers, I think this is one area that Microsoft actually has a much more robust solution than VMware. Maybe it does not included automated DR tests, but when you consider you can failover and failback all in under 10 minutes, maybe an actual DR test performed monthly would give you a much better indication of what to expect in an actual disaster?
If you want a Hyper-V solution more like SRM, then there is an option there as well, it is called Citrix Essential for Hyper-V. But much like SRM, it is an optional add-on feature and really doesn’t even match the RPO and RTO features that you can achieve with basic multi-site clusters for Hyper-V.
What do you think? Am I wrong or is there something I just don’t get? From my view, Hyper-V is heads and shoulders above vSphere in terms of disaster recovery features.
I was recently asked whether MSCS/WSFC will become obsolete due to 3rd party HA solutions. I think there will always be a market for 3rd party HA solutions, but many of the enhancements delivered with Windows Server 2008 have reduced the need to explore alternate HA solutions. I think the greater threat to MSCS/WSFC is HA solutions provided by the virtualization vendors, such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V failover clusters (which actually uses WSFC) and VMware HA. These solutions provided by the virtualization platform provide protection in case of host failure, although they currently do not have visibility into the application that is running within the VM.
The real question is what kind of failure do you want to protect against? If physical server failure is your primary concern, then in some cases where MSCS may have previously been deployed, you will see Hyper-V Clusters or VMware HA being deployed instead. In other cases where MSCS/WSFC may have seemed like overkill or was incompatible with the OS or application, you will instead see clustered VMs being deployed because it is easy to install and it supports all applications and operating systems. The mere fact that more workloads will be running per physical server will make it imperative to have some kind of clustering solution so that the failure of a single server does not bring down your entire infrastructure. In many cases, this clustering solution will be provided by the virtualization vendor.
Hyper-V Clusters and VMware HA are easy to implement and have a broad range of support as the protected VM can be running any OS or application. The tradeoff is that you lose the application level monitoring included with MSCS/WSFC. There will always be a class of applications that need application awareness, so MSCS/WSFC or other HA solutions that manage application availability will always be needed to ensure that the application is available, not just the server itself. With that being said, MSCS/WSFC will not become obsolete, but you will see it deployed alongside other cluster solutions provided by the hypervisor vendors..
There has recently been a lot of press heralding VMware’s limited support for vMotion across Data Centers, or “long-distance vMotion” as I have seen it called. The details of the solution can be found on Cisco’s website here. While I think that is just great, I’d like to remind people that Microsoft Hyper-V has this same functionality today and has a lot less requirements and restrictions than VMware’s long-distance vMotion.
Where VMware has VMwareHA, vMotion and Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to take care of virtual machine availability, Microsoft provides the same functionality with Windows Server Failover Clustering and in fact in some cases goes beyond what VMware can provide in terms of virtual machine availability as I described in a previous post.
What I’d like to focus on today is Microsoft’s competitive offering to “long-distance vMotion”. To achieve the same functionality in Hyper-V, you simply deploy a multi-site Hyper-V cluster using Windows Server Failover Clustering and your favorite host or storage based replication solution that is certified to work in a Windows Server 2008 multi-site cluster. By doing this, you can use your existing network infrastructure and your existing storage infrastructure to do Live Migrations across data centers. As far as requirements, they really are the same as any multi-site cluster, except I would recommend that you span your subnets to avoid client reconnection issues that occur when moving a virtual machine to a new subnet, as the clients could cache to old IP address until the TTL expires.
With the recent release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and vSphere 4.0, I thought it was a good time to review some of the options available when considering the availability of your virtual servers and the applications running on them. I also will take this opportunity to describe some of the features that enable virtual machine availability. I have grouped these features into their function roles to help highlight their purpose.
Live Migration and VMware’s VMotion are both solutions that allow an administrator to move a virtual machine from one physical server to another with no perceivable downtime. The key thing to remember about this technology is that in order to move a virtual machine from one server to another without any downtime, the move must be a planned event. The reason that it must be a planned event is that the virtual machine’s memory must be synchronized between the servers before the actual switchover can occur. This is true of both Microsoft’s and VMware’s solutions. Also keep in mind that both of these technologies require the use of shared storage to hold the virtual hard disks (VMDK and VHD files), which limits Live Migration and VMotion to local area networks. This also means that any downtime planned for the storage array must be handled in a different way if you want to limit the impact to your virtual machines.
Microsoft’s Windows Server Failover Clustering and VMware’s High Availability (HA) are the solutions that are available to protect virtual machines in the event of unplanned downtime. Both solutions are similar in that they monitor virtual machines for availability and in the case of a failure the VMs are moved to the standby node. This recovery process requires that the machines be rebooted since there was no time to sync the memory before failover.
How do I recover my virtual machines in the event of a complete site loss? The good news is that virtualization makes this process a whole lot easier since a virtual machine is just a file that can be picked up and moved to another server. While up to this point VMware and Microsoft are pretty similar in their availability features and functionality, but here is where Microsoft really shines. VMware offers Site Recovery Manager which is a fine product, but is limited in support to only SRM-certified array-based replication solutions. Also, the failover and failback process is not trivial and can take the better part of a day to do a complete round trip from the DR site back to the primary data center. It does have some nice features like DR testing, but in my experience with Microsoft’s solution for disaster recovery they have a much better solution when it comes to disaster recovery.
Microsoft’s Hyper-V DR solution is Windows Server Failover Clustering in a multi-site cluster configuration (see video demonstration). In this configuration the performance and behavior is the same as a local area cluster, but yet it can span data centers. What this means is that you can actually move your virtual machines across data centers with little to no perceivable downtime. Failback is the same process, just point and click to move the virtual machine resource back to the primary data center. While there is no built in “DR Testing”, I think it is preferable to do an actual DR test in just the matter of a minute or two with no perceivable downtime. The other thing I like about WSFC multi-site clusters is that the replication options include not only array-based replication vendors, but also host-based replication vendors. This really gives you a wide range of replication solutions in all price ranges and does not require that you upgrade your existing storage infrastructure.
Fault tolerance basically eliminates the need to reboot a virtual machine in the event of an unexpected failure. VMware has the edge here in that it offers VMware FT. There are a few other 3rd party hardware and software vendors that play in this space as well. There are plenty of limitations and requirements when it comes to implementing FT systems, but if you need to ensure that a hardware component failure results in zero downtime vs. the minute or two it takes to boot up a VM in a standard HA configuration, then this is an option that you may want to consider. You probably want to make sure that your existing servers are already chock full of hot standby CPUs, RAM, power supplies, etc, and you have redundant paths to the network and storage, otherwise you may be throwing good money after bad. Fault tolerance is great for protection from hardware failures, but what happens if your application or the virtual machine’s operating system is behaving badly? That is when you need application level clustering as described below.
Everything I have discussed up to this point really only takes into consideration the health of your physical servers and your virtual machines as a whole. This is all well and good, however, what happens if your virtual machine blue screens? Or what if that latest SQL service pack broke your application? In those cases, none of these solutions are going to do you one bit of good. For those most critical applications, you really must cluster at the application layer. What this means is that you must look into clustering solutions that run within the OS on the virtual machine vs. within the hypervisor. In the Microsoft world this means MSCS/WSFC or 3rd party clustering solutions. Your storage options, when clustering within the virtual machine, are limited in scope to either iSCSI targets or host-based replication solutions. A demonstration of SQL Server being clustered within a Hyper-V VM using SteelEye DataKeeper Cluster Edition is available here. Currently, VMware really does not have a solution to this problem and would defer to solutions that run within the virtual machine for application layer monitoring.
With the advent of virtualization, it is really not a question of if you need availability, but more of a question of what availability option will help meet your SLA and/or DR requirements. I hope that this information helps you make sense of the availability options available to you.