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.

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.

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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.

How To Monitor Storage QoS Minimum IOPS & Identify VM & The Virtual Hard Disk In Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V


At TechEd 2013 John Matthew & Liang Yang presented following session  MDC-B345: Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Storage Performance. That was a great one. During this they demonstrated the use of WMI to monitor storage alerts related to Storage QoS in Windows Server 2012 R2. We’re going to go further, dive in a bit deeper and show you how to identify the virtual hard disk and the virtual machine.

One important thing in all this is that we need to have the reserve or minimum IOPS not being met, so we run IOMeter to make sure that’s the case. That way the events we need will be generated. It’s a bit of a tedious exercise.

So we start with a wmi notification query, this demonstrates that notifications are sent when the minimum IOPS cannot be met. The query is simply:

select * from Msvm_StorageAlert

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instance of Msvm_StorageAlert
{
    AlertingManagedElement = "\\\\TESTHOST01\\root\\virtualization\\v2:Msvm_ResourcePool.InstanceID=\"Microsoft:70BB60D2-A9D3-46AA-B654-3DE53004B4F8\"";
    AlertType = 3;
    Description = "Hyper-V Storage Alert";
    EventTime = "20140109114302.000000-000";
    IndicationTime = "20140109114302.000000-000";
    Message = "The ‘Primordial’ Hard Disk Image pool has degraded Quality of Service. One or more Virtual Hard Disks allocated from the pool is not reporting sufficient throughput as specified by the IOPSReservation property in its Resource Allocation Setting Data.";
    MessageArguments = {"Primordial"};
    MessageID = "32930";
    OwningEntity = "Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS";
    PerceivedSeverity = 3;
    ProbableCause = 50;
    ProbableCauseDescription = "One or more VHDs allocated from the pool (identified by value of AlertingManagedElement property) is experiencing insufficient throughput and is not able to meet its configured IOPSReservation.";
    SystemCreationClassName = "Msvm_ComputerSystem";
    SystemName = "TESTHOST01";
    TIME_CREATED = "130337413826727692";
};

That’s great, but what virtual hard disk of what VM is causing this? That’s the question we’ll dive into in this blog. Let’s go. On MSDN docs on Msvm_StorageAlert class we read:

Remarks

The Hyper-V WMI provider won’t raise events for individual virtual disks to avoid flooding clients with events in case of large scale malfunctions of the underlying storage systems.

When a client receives an Msvm_StorageAlert event, if the value of the ProbableCause property is 50 (“Storage Capacity Problem“), the client can discover which virtual disks are operating outside their QoS policy by using one of these procedures:

Query all the Msvm_LogicalDisk instances that were allocated from the resource pool for which the event was generated. These Msvm_LogicalDisk instances are associated to the resource pool via the Msvm_ElementAllocatedFromPool association.
Filter the result list by selecting instances whose OperationalStatus contains “Insufficient Throughput”.

So I query  (NOT a notification query!) the Msvm_ElementAllocatedFromPool class, click through on a result and select Show MOF.

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Let’s look at that MOF …In yellow is the GUID of our VM ID. Hey cool!

instance of Msvm_ElementAllocatedFromPool
{
    Antecedent = "\\\\TESTHOST01\\root\\virtualization\\v2:Msvm_ProcessorPool.InstanceID=\"Microsoft:B637F347-6A0E-4DEC-AF52-BD70CB80A21D\"";
    Dependent = "\\\\TESTHOST01\\root\\virtualization\\v2:Msvm_Processor.CreationClassName=\"Msvm_Processor\",DeviceID=\"Microsoft:b637f346-6a0e-4dec-af52-bd70cb80a21d\\\\6\",SystemCreationClassName=\"Msvm_ComputerSystem\",SystemName=\"
96CD7F7E-0C0A-42FE-96CB-B5550D937F27\"";
};

Now we want to find the virtual hard disk in question! So let’s do what the docs says and query Msvn_LogicalDisk based on the VM GUID we find the relates results …

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Look we got OperationalStatus 32788 which means InsufficientThroughput, cool we’re on the right track … now we need to find what virtual disk of our VM  that is. Well in the above MOF we find the device ID:     DeviceID = "Microsoft:5F6D764F-1BD4-4C5D-B473-32A974FB1CA2\\\\L"

Well if we then do a query for Msvm_StorageAllocationSettingData we find two entrties for our VM GUID (it has two disks) and by looking at the value InstanceID that contains the above DeviceID we find the virtual hard disk info we needed to identify the one not getting the minimum IOPS.

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HostResource = {"C:\\ClusterStorage\\Volume5\\DidierTest01\\Virtual Hard Disks\\DidierTest01Disk02.vhdx"};
HostResourceBlockSize = NULL;
InstanceID = "Microsoft:96CD7F7E-0C0A-42FE-96CB-B5550D937F27\\5F6D764F-1BD4-4C5D-B473-32A974FB1CA2\\\\L";

Are you tired yet? Do you realize you need to do this while the disk IOPS is not being met to see the events. This is no way to it in production. Not on a dozen servers, let alone on a couple of hundred to thousands or more hosts is it? All the above did was give us some insight on where and how. But using wbemtest.exe to diver deeper into wmi notifications/events isn’t really handy in real life. Tools will need to be developed to deal with this larger deployments. The can be provided by your storage vendor, your VAR, integrator or by yourself if you’re a large enough shop to make private cloud viable or if you are the cloud provider Smile.

To give you an idea on how this can be done there is some demo code on MSDN over here and I have that compiled for demo purposes.

We have 4 VMs running on the host.  One of them is being hammered by IOMeter while it’s minimum IOPS have been set to an number it cannot possibly get. We launch StorageQos to monitor our Hyper-V host.

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Just let it run and when the notification event that the minimum IOPS cannot be delivered on the storage this monitor will query WMI further to tell us what virtual disk or disks are  involved.  Cool huh! A good naming convention can help identify the VM and this tools works remotely against node so you can launch one for each node of the cluster. Time to fire up Visual Studio 2013 me thinks or go and chat to a good dev you might know to take this somewhere, some prefer this sort of work to the modern day version of CRUD apps any day. If you buy monitoring tools you might want them to have this capability.

While this is just demo code, it gives you an idea of how tools and solutions can be developed & build to monitor the Minimum IOPS part of Storage QoS in Windows Server 2012 R2. Hope you found this useful!

Windows Server 2012 R2 Cluster Reset Recent Events With PowerShell


I blogged before about the fact that since Windows Server 2012  we have the ability to reset the recent events shown so that the state of the cluster is squeaky clean with not warnings or errors. You can read up on this here. Windows Server 2012 Cluster Reset Recent Events Feature.

You can also do this in PowerShell like in the example below:

#Connect to cluster & get current RecentEventsResetTime value
$MyCluster = Get-CLuster -name "W2K12R2RTM"
$MyCluster.RecentEventsResetTime

#Reset recent events
$MyCluster.RecentEventsResetTime = get-date
$MyCluster.RecentEventsResetTime

 

 

 

 

As you may notice, the RecentEventsResetTime is displayed in UTC when read form the cluster after connecting to it. Right after you set it it displays the time respectful of the time zone you’re in right until you connect to the cluster again. We demonstrate this in the 2 screenshots below (I’m at GMT+1).

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This comes in handy when writing test, comparison & demo scripts. Often you do things with the network that causes network connectivity to be lost when the NIC gets reset (disabled/enabled) and such. Also when something fails as part of the demo or tests scripts it’s nice to start the rerun or the next part of the demo/test with a clean cluster GUI when you’re showcasing stuff. Unfortunately an already GUI doesn’t refresh these setting if the reset is not done in the GUI. So you need to open a new one. For scripting you don’t have this issue. EDIT: In Windows 2012 R2 you can use the $MyCluster.Update() to reflect the new value of RecentEventsResetTime in UTC without having to reconnect to the cluster. In Windows Server 2012 this Update method isn’t available but it seems to happen automatic.