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Windows 2012 Hyper – V: Innovation to Virtualization

We all know Hyper-V has improved a lot and being considered as number one hypervisor in today’s technology world. Windows 2012 R2 has enhanced more features.

I have been spending some time to know more improvements and new features. I am sharing the same here with few learning links in the end.

 

Improvements and New features:

  1. Online Disk size change: Now we can change the disk size even if VM is in use and production. This can be done by simple 3 steps. Edit disk in Hyper-V Manager, edit the size of the vhdx file and extend the volume. Earlier we had required to shut down the VMs. This is an awesome change. Another factor to easy the system administrator headache.

     

  2. Resource Metering: It enables hosting providers to quickly and cost-efficiently create a more advanced, reliable, usage-based billing solution that adjusts to the provider’s business model and strategy. It can help in getting the metrics for the following resources used by a VM during a specific period of time:
    1. Average CPU usage, measured in megahertz over a period of time.
    2. Average physical memory usage, measured in megabytes.
    3. Minimum memory usage (lowest amount of physical memory).
    4. Maximum memory usage (highest amount of physical memory).
    5. Maximum amount of disk space allocated to a virtual machine.
    6. Total incoming network traffic, measured in megabytes, for a virtual network adapter.
    7. Total outgoing network traffic, measured in megabytes, for a virtual network adapter.

     

  3. Smart Paging: In the dynamic memory allocation the following 3 configuration will allow you servers to start even if the memory is not enough to run them.

            Minimum RAM – The minimum amount of RAM that a VM requires in order to work.

Startup RAM – The amount of RAM required during boot. This may well be higher than the minimum and increasing this will ensure a VM boots faster.

Maximum RAM – The maximum amount of RAM a VM requires in order to work.

 

   4. Virtual Disk Sharing: Virtual disk sharing allows us to deploy a Hyper-V guest failover cluster that is no longer bound to your storage topology. You can implement a guest failover cluster by using a shared virtual hard disk, Fibre Channel, Server Message Block (SMB), Storage Spaces, or iSCSI storage options. This is coming with windows 2012 R2. Check more 

here

 

   5. Offloaded Data Transfer: This feature directly transfer data within or between compatible storage devices, bypassing the host computer. More about this here

 

 

    6. SR-IOV: Single root I/O virtualization interface allows a device, such as a network adapter, to separate access to its resources among various PCIe hardware functions. It enables network traffic to bypass the software switch layer of the Hyper-V virtualization stack. Because the VF is assigned to a child partition, the network traffic flows directly between the VF and child partition. As a result, the I/O overhead in the software emulation layer is diminished and achieves network performance that is nearly the same performance as in non-virtualized environments. More about this is here

 

     7. Cluster-Aware Updating for patching Hyper-V hosts: CAU automates the software updating process on clustered servers while maintaining availability. Check the steps here

 

    8. Hyper-V replication: This feature enables you to replicate virtual machines between storage systems, clusters, and data centers in two sites to provide business continuity and disaster recovery. Check more here.
Hyper-V Replica adds the following new features in Windows Server 2012 R2:

      -You can configure extended replication. In extended replication, your Replica server forwards information about changes that occur on the primary virtual machines to a third server (the extended Replica server). After a planned or unplanned failover from the primary server to the Replica server, the extended Replica server provides further business continuity protection. As with ordinary replication, you configure extended replication by using Hyper-V Manager, Windows PowerShell, or WMI.

      -The frequency of replication, which previously was a fixed value, is now configurable. You can also access recovery points for 24 hours. Previous versions had access to recovery points for only 15 hours.

  9. Generation 2 VMs: This is the way of creating new virtual machine. More info on Gen 2 VMs is here. I recommend Generation 2 VMs because it provides the following new functionality:-Secure Boot (enabled by default)

           -Boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk

           -Boot from a SCSI virtual DVD

          -PXE boot by using a standard network adapter

         -UEFI firmware support

 

  10. Dynamic Optimization: This feature automatically balances the virtual machine load within a host cluster. Another great feature which balances CPU, Memory, Disk I/O and Network I/O.

 

  11. Windows Azure “System Center Global Service Monitor”: System Center Global Service Monitor is a cloud service that addresses this problem by extending the application monitoring capabilities in System Center 2012 beyond your organization’s own network boundary. Global Service Monitor uses Windows Azure points of presence to help give you a true reflection of an end-users’ experience of a web application. This service has a 90 days free trial. Check here

 

  12. Fast Tier: In case you are using 2 kind of disks SSD and other (SAS) then you can choose where to locate the vhdx file. SSD is fast tier and you can choose this for a particular vhdx file which needs better performance. Check here to know more about the storage

 

  13. Domain Controller Cloning: We can clone the domain controllers. Earlier USN used to cause the problem in clone but windows 2012 Hyper V has fixed this issue by using the new attribute VM-Generation-ID unique identifier. Check the steps here.

 

14. Automatic Virtual Machine Activation: Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) lets you install virtual machines on a computer where Windows Server 2012 R2 is properly activated without having to manage product keys for each individual virtual machine, even in disconnected environments. AVMA binds the virtual machine activation to the licensed virtualization server and activates the virtual machine when it starts. AVMA also provides real-time reporting on usage, and historical data on the license state of the virtual machine. Reporting and tracking data is available on the virtualization server.

 

 

 

 

Links to know more:

3 kind of virtual Networks – http://blogs.technet.com/b/jhoward/archive/2008/06/17/hyper-v-what-are-the-uses-for-different-types-of-virtual-networks.aspx

Set-VMNetworkAdapter command – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh848457.aspx

Dynamic Disk and Dynamic Expanding – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/proper-use-of-hyper-v-dynamic-disks

Resource Metering Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3G551D79QQ

More on Resource Metering

http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthewms/archive/2013/03/29/20-days-of-server-virtualization-keeping-an-eye-monitoring-your-hyper-v-servers-part-20-of-20ish.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831661.aspx

Smart Paging – http://windowsserver2012.itpro.co.uk/hidden-features/77/hyper-v-smart-paging

New Features with windows 2012 – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831410.aspx

New Features with windows 2012 R2 – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn282278.aspx

Create a template for VM – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh427282.aspx

Create a VM from a template – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh882403.aspx

Cluster Aware Patching – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831694.aspx

Some Nic commands for teaming – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj130847.aspx

VMM Admin Roles – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg696971.aspx

Dynamic Optimization Demo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd4UDeKuAvk

 

Virtual Academy Training link:

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/server-virtualization-with-windows-server-hyper-v-and-system-center#?fbid=4fvvXl7uy-I

 

 

 

Prabhat Nigam

Microsoft MVP | Exchange Server

Team@MSExchangeGuru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Windows 2012 Hyper – V: Innovation to Virtualization”

  1. Exchange 2013 SP1 – Way to go Windows 2012 R2 - The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs Says:

    […] I have highlighted few new features of Hyper-V on my blog here. […]

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