The Hyper V Amigos Showcast Episode 2: Unmap


We’re back for our second episode of the Hyper-V Amigos show cast. In this episode we discuss and demonstrate UNMAP in Windows Server 2012 R2 a bit. As always it was fun to work with Carsten Rachfahl.

2 Hyper-V Amigos having fun discussing UNMAP

 

Here’s our fun and unscripted (other than the PowerShell used in the demos) attempt at showing you UNMAP behavior with Hyper-V and a DELL Compellent SAN

If you want to read more on our experiences with UNMAP search my blog https://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/tag/unmap/. I have prepared some links for you.

I still need to get the slides uploaded, but all that info is in the blog posts.

Enjoy!

EDIT:

In relation to the question below about not much difference between Dynamically expanding VHD/VHDX. That demo didn’t work out so well here so I include  some screenshots of a comparison I just ran:

This is the dynamically expanding VHDX. on an IDE controller, no ODX.

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This is the dynamically expanding VHD on an vSCSI controller, with ODX.

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So yes, losing ODX makes things slower for dynamically expanding VHDX, but it still beats a Dynamically expanding VHD that has ODX.  A VHDX is a lot better at dynamically growing than a VHD.

Windows NLB On Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V: A Personal Preferred Configuration Using IGMP With Multicast


To know and see the issues we are dealing with in this demo, you need to read this blog post first: Windows NLB Nodes “Misconfigured” after Simultaneous Live Migration on Windows Server 2012 (R2).

We were dealing with some issues on on several WNLB clusters running on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster after a migration from an older cluster. So go read that and come back Smile.

Are you back? Good.

Let’s look at the situation we’ll use to show case one possible solution to the issues. If you have  a 2 node Hyper-V cluster, are using NIC Teaming for the switch and depending on how teaming is set up you’ll might run into these issues. Here we’ll use a single switch to mimic a stacked one (the model available to me is non stackable and I have only one anyway).

  • Make sure you enable MAC Spoofing on the appropriate vNIC or vNICs in the advanced settings

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  • Note that there is no need to use a static MAC address or copy your VIP mac into the settings of your VM  with Windows Server 2012 (R2) Hyper-V
  • Set up WNLB with IGMP multicast as option. While chancing this there will be some advice warnings thrown at you Smile

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I’m not going in to the fact that since W2K8 the network default configurations are all about security. You might have to do some configuration work to get the network flow to do what it needs to do. Lots on this  weak host/strong host model behavior on the internet . Even wild messy ramblings by myself here.

On to the switch itself!

Why IGMP multicast? Unicast isn’t the best option and multicast might not cut it or be the best option for your environment and IGMP is less talked about yet it’s a nice solution with Windows NLB, bar replacing into with a hardware load balancer. For this demo I have a DELL PowerConnect 5424 at my disposal. Great little switch, many of them are still serving us well after 6 years on the job.

What MAC address do I feed my switch configurations?

Ah! You are a smart cookie, aren’t you. A mere ipconfig reveals only the unicast MAC address of the NIC. The GUI on WNLB shows you the MAC address of the VIP. Is that the correct one for my chosen option, unicast, multicast or IGMP multicast?  No worries, the GUI indeed shows the one you need based on the WNLB option you configure. Also, take a peak at nlb.exe /? and you’ll find a very useful option called ip2mac.

Let’s run that against our VIP:

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And compare it to what we see in the GUI, you’ll notice that show the MAC to use with IGMP multicast as well.

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You might want to get the MAC address before you configure WNLB from unicast to IGMP multicast. That’s where the ip2mac option comes in handy.

Configuring your switch(es)

We have a multicast IP address that we’ll convert into the one we need to use. Most switches like the PowerConnect 5424 in the example will do that for you by the way.

I’m not letting the joining of the members to the Bridge Multicast Group happen automatically so I need to configure this. I actually have to VLANs, each Hyper-V host has 2 LACP NIC team with Dynamic load balancing connected to an LACP LAGs on this switch (it’s a demo, yes, I know no switch redundancy).  I have tow as some WNLB nodes have multiple clusters and some of these are on another VLAN.

I create a Bridge Multicast Group. For this I need the VLAN, the IGMP multicast MAC address and cluster IP address

When I specify the IGMP multicast MAC I take care to format it correctly with “:” instead of “–“ or similar.

You can type in the VIP IP address or convert is per this KB yourself. If you don’t the switch will sort you out.

The address range of the multicast group that is used is 239.255.x.y, where x.y corresponds to the last two octets of the Network Load Balancing virtual IP address.

For us this means that our VIP of 172.31.3.232 becomes 239.255.3.232. The switch handles typing in either the VIP or the converted VIP equally well.

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This is what is looks like, here there are two WNLB clusters in ICMP multicast mode configured. There are more on the other VLAN.

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We leave Bridge Multicast Forwarding here for what it is, no need in this small setup. Same for IGMP Snooping. It’s enable globally and we’ve set the members statically.

We make unregistered multicast is set to forwarding (default).

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Basically, we’re good to go now. Looking at the counters of the interfaces & LAGs you should see that the multicast traffic is targeted at the members of the LAGs/LAGs and not all interfaces of the switch. The difference should be clear when you compare the counters adding up before and after you configured IGMP.

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The Results

No over the top switch flooding, I can simultaneously live migrate multiple WLNB nodes and have them land on the same switch without duplicate IP address warning. Will this work for you. I don’t know. There are some many permutations that I can’t tell you what you should do in your particular situation to make it work well. I’ll just quote myself from my previous blog post on this subject:

“"If you insist you want my support on this I’ll charge a least a thousand Euro per hour, effort based only. Really. And chances are I’ll spend 10 hours on it for you. Which means you could have bought 2 (redundancy) KEMP hardware NLB appliances and still have money left to fly business class to the USA and tour some national parks. Get the message?”

But you have seen some examples on how to address issues & get a decent configuration to keep WNLB humming along for a few more years. I really hope it helps out some of you struggling with it.

Wait, you forgot the duplicate IP Address Warning!

No, I didn’t. We’ll address that here. There are some causes for this:

  • There is a duplicate IP address. If so, you need to address this.
  • A duplicate IP address warning is to be expected when you switch between unicast and multicast NLB cluster modes (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/264645). Follow the advice in the KB article and clearing the ARP tables on the switches can help and you should get rid of it, it’s transient.
  • There are other cause that are described here Troubleshooting Network Load Balancing Clusters. All come down to the fact that somehow you’re getting multiple MAC address associated with the same IP address. One possible cause can be that you migrated form an old cluster to a new cluster, meaning that the pool of dynamic IP addresses is different and hence the generated VIP MAC … aha!
  • Another reason, and again associated multiple MAC address associated with the same IP address is that you have an old static ARP entry for that IP address somewhere on your switches. Do some house cleaning.
  • If all the above is perfectly fine and you’re certain this is due to some Hyper-V live migration, vSwitch, firmware, driver bug you can get rid of the warning by disabling ARP checks on the cluster members. Under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters, create a DWORD value with as name “ArpRetryCount” and set the value to 0. Reboot the server for this to take effect. In general this is not a great idea to do. But if you manage your IP addresses well and are sure no static entries are set on the switch it can help avoid this issue. But please, don’t just disable “ArpRetryCount” and ignore the root causes.

Conclusion

You can still get WNLB to work for you properly, even today in 2014. But it’s time to start saying goodbye to Windows NLB. The way the advanced networking features are moving towards layer 3 means that “useful hacks” like MAC spoofing for Windows NLB are going no longer going to work.  But until you have implement hardware load balancing I hope this blog has given you some ideas & tips to keep Windows NLB running smoothly for now. I’ve done quite few and while it takes some detective work & testing, so far I have come out victorious. Eat that Windows NLB! I have always enjoyed making it work where people said it couldn’t be done. But with the growing important of network virtualization and layer 3 in our networks, this nice hack, has had it’s time.

For some reasons developers like Windows NLB as  “it’s easy and they are in control as it runs on their servers”. Well … as you have seen nothing comes free and perhaps our time is better spend in some advanced health checking and failover in hardware load balancing. DevOps anyone?

Copy Cluster Roles Hyper-V Cluster Migration Fails at Final Step with error Virtual Machine Configuration ‘VM01′ failed to register the virtual machine with the virtual machine service


I was working on a migration of a nice two node Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V cluster to Windows Server 2012 R2. The cluster consist out of 2 DELL R610 servers and a DELL  MD3200 shared SAS disk array for the shared storage. It runs all the virtual machines with infrastructure roles etc. It’s a Cluster In A Box like set up. This has been doing just fine for 18 months but the need for features in Windows Server 2012 R2 became too much to resists. As the hardware needs to be recuperated and we have a maintenance windows we use the copy cluster roles scenario that we have used so many times before with great success. It’s the Perform an in-place migration involving only two servers scenario documented on TechNet and as described in one of my previous blogs Migrating a Hyper-V Cluster to Windows 2012 R2 for your convenience.

Virtual Machine Configuration ‘VM01′ failed to register the virtual machine with the virtual machine service

As the source host was running on Windows Server 2012 we could have done the live migration scenario but the down time would be minimal and there is a maintenance window. So we chose this path.

So we performed a good health check. of the source cluster and made sure we had no snapshots left hanging around. Yes it’s supported now for this migration scenario but I like to have as few moving parts as possible during a migration.

It all went smooth like silk. After shutting down the VMs on the source cluster node, bringing the CSV off line (and un-presenting the LUN from the source node for good measure), we present that LUN to the target host. We brought the CSV on line and when that was completed successfully we were ready to bring the virtual machines on line and that failed …

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-High-Availability-Admin
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-High-Availability
Date:          4/02/2014 19:26:41
Event ID:      21102
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:     
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      VM01.domain.be
Description:
‘Virtual Machine Configuration VM01′ failed to register the virtual machine with the virtual machine management service.

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Let’s dive into the other event logs. On the host the application security and system event log are squeaky clean. The Hyper-V event logs are pretty empty or clean to except for these events in the Hyper-V-VMMS Admin log.

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS-Admin
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS
Date:          4/02/2014 19:26:40
Event ID:      13000
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:     
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      VM01.domain.be
Description:
User ‘NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM’ failed to create external configuration store at ‘C:\ClusterStorage\HyperVStorage\VM01′: The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed.. (0x800706FD)

 

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Bingo. It must be the fact that no domain controller is available. It’s completely self contained cluster and both domain controller virtual machines are highly available and reside on the CSV. Now the CSV does come on line without a DC since Windows Server 2012 so that’s not the issue. it’s the process of registering the VMs that fails without a DC in an Active Directory environment.

Getting passed this issue

There are multiple ways to resolve this and move ahead with our cluster migration. As the environment is still fully functional on the source cluster I just removed a DC virtual machine from high availability on the cluster. I shut it down and exported it. I than copied it over to the node of the new cluster  (we’re going to nuke the source host afterwards and install W2K12R2, so we moved it to the new host where it could stay) where I put it on local storage and imported it. For this is used the “Register the virtual machine in-place option”. I did not make it high available.

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After verifying that we could ping the DC and it was up and running well we tried the final phase of the migration again. It went as smooth as we have come to expect!

Other options would have been to host the DC virtual machine on a laptop or other server. If you could no longer get to the the DC for export & import or heck even a shared nothing migration depending on your environment can help you out of this pickle. A restore from backup would also work. But here in that 2 node all in one cluster our approach was fast and efficient.

So there you go. Tip to remember. Virtualizing domain controllers is fully supported, no worries there but you need to make sure that if you have a dependency on a DC you don’t have the DC depending on that dependency. It’s chicken an egg thing.

Some Insights Into How Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V Backups Work


How Windows Server 2012 R2 backups differ from Windows Server 2012 and earlier

You’ll remember our previous blog about an error when backing up a virtual machine on Windows Server 2012 R2, throwing this error:

Dealing With Event ID 10103 “The virtual machine ‘VM001′ cannot be hot backed up since it has no SCSI controllers attached. Please add one or more SCSI controllers to the virtual machine before performing a backup. (Virtual machine ID DCFE14D3-7E08-845F-9CEE-21E0605817DC)” In Windows Server 2012 R2

The fix was easy enough, adding a virtual SCSI controller to the virtual machine. But why does it need that now?

Well, this all has to do with the changed way Windows Server 2012 R2 backups work. Before Windows Server 20012 R2 the VSS provider created a VSS snapshot inside the guest virtual machine. That snapshot was exposed to the host, to create a volume snapshot for backup purposes. Right after the volume snapshot has been taken this VSS snapshot inside the guest virtual machine needed to be reverted. The backups then run against that volume snapshot and is consistent thanks to both host & guest VSS capabilities.

For an overview of VSS based backup process in general take a peak at Overview of Processing a Backup Under VSS

Now it is the “Hyper-V Integration Services Shadow Copy Provider” that is being used. When the the host initiates a volume snapshot (Microsoft or hardware VSS provider) the host VSS writer goes in to freeze. This process leverages the Hyper-V Integration Services Shadow Copy Provider  to create the virtual machine checkpoint. After that the volume/LUN/CSV snapshot is taken. When that is done the host VSS writes goes into thaw and the virtual machine checkpoint is deleted. After that the backup runs against the Volume snapshot and at the end that is also deleted. You can follow this process quite nicely in the GUI of your Hyper-V host, you SAN (if you use a Hardware VSS provider).

Dear storage vendors: a great, reliable, fast VSS Hardware Provider is paramount to success in a Microsoft environment. You need to get this absolutely right and out of the door before spending any more time and money on achieving yet more IOPS. Keep scalability in mind when doing this.

Dear backup software vendors: think about the scalability when designing your products. If we have 200 or 500 or a thousand VMs … can we leverage CSV based backups to protect every VM on the LUN or do we need to snap the LUN for every VM backed up? Choice there is good for both data protection schemes and scalability.

At this stage the hardware VSS snapshot is being taken …

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Contrary to common belief this means that the backup will indeed application consistent to the time of the checkpoint as the CSV snapshot being taken is of a consistent checkpoint. It’s the delta in the active avhdx that is only crash consistent, like any running VM by the way. Now pay attention to the screenshot below. The two red arrows are indicating to ntfs source events, two volumes seem to be exposed to the next free drive letters. E: and F: here as C: is the virtual machine OS and D: the DVD.

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Look at the detail. Indeed two. Well it the previous screenshot we only saw one in the CSV path but there are two avhdx files indeed.

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Exposing a snapshot on the SAN to a server actually shows us this much better … look here at the avhdx with the GUID and one with “AutoRecovery” in the name. So that makes for two nfts events … and as the backup needs to do this life it requires a vSCSI controller to be present in the virtual machine … and vIDE controller can’t do this.

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Anyway, enough under the hood detective work for now, In VEEAM that stage looks like this:

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And on the Compellent it looks like this. The screenshots are from different backups at different times so don’t get confused about the time stamps here. It’s just as illustration of what you can expect to see.

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Now when the CSV snapshot has been taken the virtual machine checkpoint is removed. At that time the backup runs against the CSV snapshot. In our case (hardware VSS provider) this is a snapshot on the SAN that gets exposed in a view and mapped to the off host backup proxy VEEAM server. On the DELL Compellent it looks like this.

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This takes a while to o…but after a while the backup will kick off. Do not that the checkpoint has merged and is no longer visible at this time.

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Once the backup is complete, the mapping is removed, the view deleted and the snapshot expired. So your SAN is left as the backup found it.

There you go. I hope this helped clarify certain things on how Hyper-V guest backups work in Windows 2012 R2. So your backups are still application consistent, just not when you’re running Linux or DOS or NT4.0 as there is no support / VSS for that. However they are based on a  consistent virtual machine snapshot which explains why Hyper-V backups can protect Linux guests very adequately!

Dealing With Event ID 10103 “The virtual machine ‘VM001′ cannot be hot backed up since it has no SCSI controllers attached. Please add one or more SCSI controllers to the virtual machine before performing a backup. (Virtual machine ID DCFE14D3-7E08-845F-9CEE-21E0605817DC)” In Windows Server 2012 R2


I was doing backups of a Windows 2012 R2 Hype-V cluster recently and it runs only Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machines. It’s a small but very modern and up to date cluster Smile.

Using VEEAM as backup software I have high expectations and VEEAM did deliver. All went well except for one virtual machine.

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VEEAM states "Processing Error. Guest processing skipped (check guest OS VSS state and integration components version)". Well all  virtual machines  are W2K12R2 as are the cluster host and all IC components are up to date and backup (volume checkpoint) is enabled.

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I dove into the Hyper-V log and sure enough I found following event:

The virtual machine ‘VM001′ cannot be hot backed up since it has no SCSI controllers attached. Please add one or more SCSI controllers to the virtual machine before performing a backup. (Virtual machine ID DCFE14D3-7E08-845F-9CEE-21E0605817DC).

As it turns out in in Windows Server 2012 R2 the VM requires a SCSI controller for the backup to function. It doesn’t need to have any storage attached. It just needs one to be there (default). So the fix is easy, just add one.

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Click “Apply” and “OK”. You can now start the virtual machine and that’s it. Once we fixed that it was a squeaky clean backup run.

But why does it need to be there?

Well when we monitor the event logs inside a virtual machine we are backing up we see that during the backup process, very briefly a VHDX get’s mounted inside the guest.

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To answer this question we need to dive into how Windows Server 2012 R2 backups work as that is different from how it used to be. You can read about that over here when it’s published.

Hyper V Amigos Showcast Episode 1: who we are


The very first episode of the Hyper-V Amigos Showcast has gone live. We’ll try to discuss & showcase Hyper-V and related technologies for benefit of all mankind.

In this first episode we introduce ourselves and talk a bit about on the state of our industry and how that relates to our jobs.

Carsten Rachfahl & Didier Van Hoye introduce themselves

Enjoy!

RDMA Over RoCE With DCB Requires Tagged Non Default VLANs


It’s DCB That Requires This

For those of you who are experimenting with the RoCE variant of RDMA for SMB Direct in Windows Server 2012 (R2), make sure you have a VLAN tag in your configuration if this is more than a simple RDMA over two NICs. The moment you get DBC with PFC & ETS involved you’ll need non default tagged VLANs. Do note that PFC alone is good enough, ETS is strictly speaking not a requirement, but I’d consider doing it if you can.

With Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS) the network traffic type is classified using the priority value in the VLAN tag of the Ethernet frame. The priority value is the Priority Code Point (PCP), which is described in the IEEE 802.1Q specification and uses a 3-bit field in the VLAN tag with eight possible priority values (0 to 7).

Priority-based Flow Control (PFC) allows to individually pause priorities of tagged traffic and helps to provide lossless or “no drop” behavior for a certain priority at the receiving port. As  above, each frame transmitted by a sending port is tagged with a priority value (0 to 7) in the VLAN tag. So for the traffic pause and resume functionality to work we need a VLAN tag to carry the priority value.

Does It Work Without?

But you’ll tell me that, as you may be lacking a DCB capable switch for lab purposes, you used a direct cable between your two RoCE NICs. And guess what RoCE, might have indeed worked for you without a VLAN tag. You can test & get a feel for what RoCE/RDMA can do for you with just the NICs. But as there is no switch involved you’re not using DCB for PFC/ETS and without that the need for the tagged VLAN isn’t there. Also see http://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/smb-direct-roce-does-not-work-without-dcbpfc/.

So there you go. Design your RoCE/RDMA network based on DCB with PFC( and ETS) and not just on the tests with an direct cable or you might miss a few details that are quite important. Happy testing!

Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 2


Introduction

In this blog series we’ll walk you through the process of migrating a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster to a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster in another Active Directory domain. You are now reading part 2.

  1. Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 1
  2. Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 2

The source W2K8R2 Hyper-V cluster is a production environment. To test the procedure for the migration we created a new CSV on the source cluster with some highly available test virtual machines with production like network configurations (multi homed virtual machined). This allows us to demonstrate the soundness of the process on one CSV before we tackle the 4 production CSVs.

We left off in part 1 with the virtual machines on the CSV LUN we are going to migrate shutdown. We’ll now continue the process of moving the CSV LUN from the old Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 cluster to the new Windows Server 2012 R2 cluster. After that we can import them and, start them up, test that all is well and finally make them highly available in the cluster. Don’t forget the upgrade the integration components when all is done.

Removing the CSV LUN from the the source W2K8R2 Hyper-V Cluster

Just leave the VMs where they are on the LUN, un-present that LUN from the old source W2K8R2 Hyper-V cluster and present it to the new W2K12R2 Hyper-V Cluster. In our case, with a dealing with a cluster so we use a CSV. So when the LUN is presented and added to the cluster don’t forget to add it to the CSVs. Well

In Failover Cluster Manager bring the CSV that you are migrating off line. Make sure you have the correct one (green circles/arrow) to avoid down time in production.

imageWhen asked if you’re sure, confirm this

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The CSV will be brought of line, which you can verify in Disk Management

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We’re going to do our clean up already. You could wait until after the migration but we want the old cluster to look as clean and healthy for the operations people as possible so they don’t worry. So we go and remove this LUN from Cluster Shared Volumes.

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Which you’ll need to confirm

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after which your disk will be move to available storage

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Do note that if you do this it brings the LUN back on line. As it’s still a clustered diskand  there is no IO (all VMS are shut down) that’s OK. We’ll remove it form available cluster storage (“Delete” isn’t a bad as it sounds in this context)

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The storage will be gone form the cluster and off line in disk manager.

On the SAN / Shared Storage

We create a SAN snapshot for fall back purposes (we throw it away after all has gone well). If you have this option I highly advise you to do so. It’s not easy to move back form Windows Server 2012 R2 to W2K8R2 in the unlikely event you would need to do so. It also protects the VM against any errors & mishaps that might occur, if you understand how to use the snapshot to recover.

On the SAN we un map the CSV LUN from the old cluster. We could wait but this is an extra protection against two clusters seeing the same storage.

On the SAN we map that CSV LUN to the new cluster. It will appear in disk manager.

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We add this disk to the new cluster

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We add it to the CSV on the new cluster, which brings it on line.

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It uses the default naming convention of clustered disks. So this is the moment to change the name if you need or want to do so.

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So now it’s time to go Hyper-V Manager and do the actual import.

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Navigate to the folder where you Hyper-V Virtual Machine Configuration lives. This location can be central for all VM or individual per VM, depending on how the virtual machines were organized on the old source cluster. In our example it is the latter. Also note that we only have one CSV involved per VM here, so it easy. Otherwise you will need to move multiple CSVs across together, all the ones the VM or VMs depend on.

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It has found a virtual machine to import.

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This is important, select “Register the virtual machine in-place (use the existing unique ID)”

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Click “Next” to confirm the your actions

If anything about your virtual machine is not compatible with your host, the GUI allows you to make fix this. Here we have to change the correct virtual switch as they are different from the source host.

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When done, just click next and in a blink of the eye your machine will be imported. You can start it up right now to see if all went well.

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As in Windows Server 2012 (R2) we can add running virtual machines to the cluster for high availability that’s the final step.

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We can import all virtual machines on the demo CSV in the same manner. Congrats, if you set up network connectivity right and done this manual migration procedure correctly you have now migrated a first CSV with VMs to the new cluster in another AD domain that can talk to to VMs that are still on the old cluster.  Cool huh! What scenarios? Well, a hoster that has clusters in a management domain that runs different workloads for different customers (multiple ADs) or a company consolidating multiple environments on a common Hyper-V Cluster or clusters in a management domain, etc.

You need to update the integration components of the virtual machines now running but other than that, you’re all set. Just move along with the next CSVs / Virtual machines until you’re done.

Closing comments

Note, what to do if you don’t have shared storage. Move the disks to the new host/cluster, copy the data over (do NOT export the VMs, as that will not work in this scenario, see part 1) or … use VEEAM Replica. It will do the heavy lifting for you and help minimize down time.. Read this blog post by our fellow MVP Silvio Di Benedetto  and for more information Veeam Backup & Replication: Migrate VM from Hyper-V 2008 R2 to 2012 R2.

Good luck. And remember if you need any assistance, there are many highly experienced Hyper-V MVPs /consultants out there. They can always help you with your migration plans if you need it.

Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 1


Introduction

In this blog we’ll walk you through the process of migrating a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster to a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster in another Active Directory domain. You are reading part 1.

  1. Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 1
  2. Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 2

The source W2K8R2 Hyper-V cluster is a production environment. To test the procedure for the migration we created a new CSV on the source cluster with some highly available test virtual machines with production like network configurations (multi homed virtual machined). This allows us to demonstrate the soundness of the process on one CSV before we tackle the 4 production CSVs. Do note that in this case the two clusters do share the same SAN. If not we can move the storage, copy the data, replicate between SANs or use VEEAM Replica (see part 2 for more info).

Preparing the source W2K8R2 Hyper-V Cluster virtual machines & Cluster

Before we begin, I always make sure I have no Hyper-V snapshots  anymore on virtual machines I migrate. It prevents any issues on that front an while Windows Server 2012 R2 is better than before dealing with snapshots I prefer to have a little possible points of concern before I start such an operation.

Go to Failover Cluster Manager

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and shut down the virtual machines on the CSV you want to migrate.

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You’ll see them pending whilst they are shutting down …

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And when they are fully stopped we’ll removed the form the cluster.

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To do so, delete (scary word) the virtual machines on our CSV that’s going to be migrated from the cluster, which makes them no longer high available

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To do so you’ll need to confirm that this is what you want to do.

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In Hyper-V Manager we see that the virtual machines are indeed of line. As the virtual machines reside on cluster / CSV the path to the hard disk, config files etc is indeed under C:\ClusterStorage.

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We just close the Hyper-V Manager GUI. We will NOT export the VMs to import them on the new cluster. Why?

  1. This is not necessary as since Windows Server 2012 and as such also in R2 we can import them with the option to register them in place. No export is needed for this.
  2. Due to the fact the the is no longer there you cannot import virtual machines that have been exported from Windows 2008 R2 directly into Windows Server 2012 R2. This is due to the fact that the WMI v1 namespace was deprecated in Windows Server 2012, and then removed in Windows Server 2012 R2.  When exporting a VM from Windows 2008 R2, the WMI v1 namespace was used that resulted in an .exp file to represent the exported virtual machine. In Windows Server 2012 (R2) a new WMI namespace (version 2 or root\virtualization\v2) leverages an improved import/export model. This allows for registering the VMs in place as said in point 1. In Windows Server 2012 the version 1 WMI namespace was still there which allowed for importing of Windows Server 2008/R2 VM’s. In Windows Server 2012 R2 the version 1 namespace has been removed. So YOU CANNOT import virtual machines that where exported from Windows Server 2008/R2 into Windows Server 2012 R2. The workarounds are described here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmilne/archive/2013/10/22/windows-hyper-v-2012-amp-8-1-hyper-v-did-not-find-virtual-machine-to-import.aspx.

Now the combination of point 1 and 2 is what is used by the Copy cluster roles wizard in Windows Server 2012 R2. That works within a domain but not across separate AD Domains as in our case. But don’t worry. All this means is that we need to do some work manually and that’s it. That’s what we’ll describe in part 2 of this blog. Do realize you want to do this in one go as that ensures you have the least possible down time. In production don’t do part 1 of the blog on Monday and part 2 on Thursday or so Winking smile.

Read on here Migrating A Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Cluster To Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Cluster In Another Active Directory Domain – PART 2

Live Migration over SMB Direct leaves more CPU cycles for Virtual RSS (vRSS) in Windows Server 2012 R2


I recently (January 22nd 2014) gave a WebCast presentation for the Dutch Windows Management User Group (@WMUG_NL) in which I made the case for using SMB Direct with Live Migration to save CPU cycles other (VM) workloads. There are several areas where the CPU cycles are better spent but I used vRSS to show case one scenario.

We’re using a 2 node Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster on Dell PowerEdge R720 servers with Mellanox ConnectX-3 (CSV  &  live migration) and Intel X520-DA (Hyper-V switch), all 10Gbps.

This is what a CPU bottleneck looks like that can be solved by using vRSS in Windows Server 2012 R2.image

The host machines are Hyper Threading enabled. The virtual switch is attached to a switch independent NIC team with dynamic mode. In this setup it’s normal that the sending VM is leveraging both members while the receiving VM traffic is coming in over one member of the host team.

No let’s enable vRSS in the VM and see what this does for this picture.image

Pretty impressive isn’t it. DidierTest03 is the sending VM running on host A and DidierTest04 is the receiving VM that has vRSS enabled and is running on Host B. For vRSS you need both hosts and VMs to run Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8.1. You can see the load is spread across 7 vCPUs in the VM. DidierTest04 has 8 vCPUs. I configured vRSS in the VM to be able to use 7 vCPUs and leave vCPU 0, the default one, alone to handle those workloads.

image

Given multiple Logical CPUs & vCPUs we can get line speed with 10Gbps inside a virtual machine. This, ladies and gentlemen is a thing of beauty.

Now tell me, if you have business related needs for those CPU cycles why would you not offload the work that needs to be done for live migration to the NIC via SMB direct? This is about getting maximum VM density, performance & ROI form your infrastructure, whilst saving on servers, power and cooling. When you see the smile on your clients or bosses face, just say “you’re welcome” and smile back Open-mouthed smile.