Tag Archives: Tech Days 2009
I just gave a presentation on Live Migration at Tech Days 2009 in Montreal, in which I covered required storage options and I thought some people might want to get more details. A lot of people want to test or evaluate Live Migration and Failover Cluster but they often lack the network storage needed, say an iSCSI SAN. There is a solution available that few people have heard about but that can solve this, Windows Storage Server 2008. This version of Microsoft OS is normaly only for OEM’s selling storage appliances and solutions.
However, if you have a Tech Net or MSDN subscription, you can download WSS08 and install it on a machine that meets the requirements. This is actualy great because it allows you to use a computer you might have that does not support Hyper-V but that has enough memory and some disk to be used. After installing Windows Storage Server 2008, you will want to install Microsoft iSCSI tools which will allow you to configure iSCSI targets on that box.
You than have a system that you can use to test Failover Cluster, Hyper-V or other features requiring iSCSI storage. Note that in a corporate environment you will mostly use iSCSI or Fiber SAN to deploy those solutions. Also, Microsoft allow the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 for testing, training and development. You cannot use this in a production environment, the software license being only distributed to OEM partners.
A lot of people want to build themself a server at home for testing or learning. There is a lot of choice out there to fit any need or budget but most of us are looking for a PC with enough power to run apps and virtualization. You could always buy youself a real server for 5000$+ or build a system but if you are like me, you want a box ready for use for a good price. So, I was looking for a new system to build a Windows 2008 R2 machine with Hyper-V and I came across a system by Dell that really gives you a lot for your money. So, I got this new Dell XPS 8000 with Intel i7-860(a Quad Cord with HT giving 8 logical processors) which support virtualization, Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O and 8GB of RAM for under 1000$. Forget about the i7-920, benchmarks show that you won’t get better performance and it’s not as fast. One key feature that I was looking for and that works well on the XPS 8000 is the RAID support. The first thing I did was to had 2 disks in RAID-0, having an other drive for the OS and some data.
As soon as I got the system, I installed Windows 2008 Server R2 and like Windows 7 the installation is very fast. All my devices were recognized and drivers had been installed. Than, I added the Hyper-V role and some features. From that point on I was ready to create and deploy new VM’s but there is an application that I wouldn’t work without, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. If you want to learn more about it, you can go on the official site or come and see some very good people present it to you at Microsoft Tech Days 2009 in Montreal or one of the other city near you.
After setting up everything, I now have 7 VM running on 8GB of RAM. Make sure you put your VM’s on a different physical disk and not on the same you use for the OS. You will get better I/O performance and since HDD are cheap, buy 2 drive to do some RAID. If you have another system with Hyper-V that’s where SCVMM will make your life easier. You can manage all your hosts and you can even manage VMware and convert them to Hyper-V VM’s.
I just got confirmation that I will be speaking for two sessions at Microsoft Tech Days 2009 in Montreal! I will present sessions 1 & 3 :
Session 1: From Zero to Live Migration: How to Set Up a Live Migration – Live migration is one key feature of Windows Server 2008 R2 which brings Microsoft’s dynamic datacenter vision one step closer. With live migrations, customers can move VMs from a host Hyper-V server to another without any perceived downtime. Come spend a session understanding what live migration is and how it will help you; and walk through setting up a live migration environment from start to finish..
Session 3: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Virtualization Considerations and Best Practices - Virtualization is one of the key industry trends. Organizations are virtualizing small departmental workload to critical workload to cut cost, provide business continuity and easier management of server. In this session, learn about virtualized SQL Server deployment and some the best practices for creating a virtualized SQL Server infrastructure. We provide insights on performance tradeoffs and cover topics such as using virtualization for business continuity. We also talk about the future roadmap for SQL virtualization. Learn about all aspects of SQL Server virtualization in this session.
That’s what I call a big challenge and I like it!