Meet the HYPER-V in Windows Server 2012

Exit Windows Server 2012 significantly transform the world of virtualization. In particular, a significant change in Hyper-V hypervisor make noteworthy large-scale enterprises, which previously did not consider it.

In Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 is very laid scalability, virtual machines can have up to 64 virtual CPUs (vCPU) and up to 1TB of RAM. Due to a new format VHDX now possible to create virtual hard drives (VHD) of up to 64 terabytes, which eliminates the need to use a transit warehouse. Thus, we can accept the fact that virtually any application can be virtualized using Hyper-V. Of course, scalability itself does not matter much without the functions that can be used to the full extent of its possibilities. And Windows Server 2012 has them. Live migration allows you to move the vault store virtual machine without shutting down the CE. Live migration without resource sharing allows you to move virtual machines between hosts Windows Server 2012 without any downtime, even without clustering and shared storage. These features make the mobile virtual machines within the data center.

These new capabilities, like virtualization IO SR-IOV (single root I / O virtualization), protocol Server Message Block (SMB) version 3.0, the virtual Fibre Channel adapter and network virtualization, making Hyper-V hypervisor is very effective. However, many organizations do not consider it before and do not know where to start. In this article we will cover the basics of installing and configuring Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

What hardware do I need?

In the simplest case, that is to deploy a single server, you need a server with a 64-bit processor that supports hardware virtualization. In Intel processors, this technology is called Intel Virtualization Technology (VT), processors AMD — AMD virtualization (AMD- V). Almost any of the processor released in the past five years supports this technology. But if you’re not sure about your hardware, download and run from the command prompt with elevated privileges utility Coreinfo ( Com / en-us / sysinternals / cc8 35722. aspx) with the parameter -v. The utility will show whether the processor supports hardware virtualization and the second level address translation (Second Level Address Translation, SLAT); For Intel and AMD, this feature can also be called Extended Page Tables. The result of running the utility, shown in Figure 1, indicates that the hardware Intel Virtualization is enabled, and this is all you need to get started. SLAT support is not required for Hyper-V, but improves performance. It is therefore preferable to use SLAT whenever possible, and in those environments where virtual desktop technologies such as virtualized servers Remote Desktop Services Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), application SLAT is absolutely necessary.

Windows Server 2012 has no restrictions on the relation between physical and logical processors (in Windows Server 2008 R2 supports a ratio of 8: 1 for the virtual machines with the server operating systems). If you are satisfied with how the server can handle the load, then Microsoft’s enough. The space required is entirely dependent on how much memory you plan to allocate to virtual machines. I usually allocate 2GB to the host, and then add the memory that will be required for the virtual machines. For large-scale virtual server environment with a storage capacity of 96 GB or 192 — business as usual. But for the test environment will be enough as much memory as you need to work.

Each virtual machine has one or more virtual disks. Windows Server 2012 uses a new format VHDX, which not only supports discs with the capacity of 64 terabytes (old format supports drives up to 2 terabytes), but has been optimized so that its performance is almost as good as a physical hard disk. This is true even for dynamic virtual hard disk, which initially take up little space and the increase in volume as the recording of data. There is also a possibility of creating a fixed-size VHD. This embodiment is typically used in production environments, both for performance reasons and in order not to use up all the available space on the disk. This could happen if the actual amount of disk space is not monitored properly as dynamic VHDX files increase in size. Use an old VHD format only if you need compatibility with previous versions of Hyper-V, such as a Windows Server 2008 R2.

VHDX Files can be stored on a locally attached storage (in a test environment, for example, it can be fitted wheels), but ideally you should use external storage such as a SAN. A new feature in Windows Server 2012 — is stored and run virtual machines from a network folder, using the protocol SMB 3.0. Use of external storage simplifies backups of the virtual environment. External storage allows you to use a larger amount of disk space for a Mercedes to increase the number of servers. Using a central pool simplifies management. External storage is also useful if you are going to use failover clustering to enable multiple cluster nodes, allowing virtual machines to be moved easily between hosts and automatically restart if one host goes down. Migration type Shared Nothing Live Migration allows virtual machines to move well without interruption in the work beyond the cluster, as mentioned above. In addition, the clusters are extremely useful for routine maintenance, because they allow to move all virtual machines to another host (using live migration, which prevents the currently available virtual machine) as long as the original node updates and it reboots, and the machine moves back and the next node is updated and rebooted. Any node in the cluster can be upgraded without downtime of virtual machines. Using this process, in Windows Server 2012, you can upgrade the entire cluster with one click.

What network connections?

Before we start talking about the number of NICs that you need, let’s consider the purposes for which they are needed.

1. You need to manage the host Hyper-V. Accordingly, you need a connection to perform administrative tasks.

2.Skoree all virtual machines need to communicate with the outside world. Private virtual switch allows VMs to communicate with each other, and the internal virtual switch allows them to interact with each other and the host Hyper-V. But none of them will not give opportunities to interact with the outside world. Therefore, you need a network adapter for virtual machine traffic. In a production environment, you are likely to need at least two adapters for virtual machine traffic; you can combine them to create a failover connection. It is possible to use the same adapter for both control and virtual machines; in a test environment, you can use this option. But ideally better to share the administrative traffic, and the virtual network switch that controls the traffic of virtual machines. You do not want to lose access to the server if something happens to the virtual switch.

It is necessary that the cluster nodes exchanging service information such as various messages IsAlive. This typically applies a separate network. In addition to traffic to the cluster heartbeat (heartbeat) network is used for cluster traffic Cluster Shared Volume cluster shared volume (CSV). This allows all nodes in the cluster simultaneously use one LUN to NTFS. Typically, traffic CSV only consists of metadata changes. However, in some situations, some nodes use the network to transmit traffic related to the storage. Therefore, when using the CSV cluster require separate network.

3.Vam require a dedicated network to ensure that the migration of virtual machines between nodes proiskhoditza reasonable time. Thus, you need to select a network for live migration.

4. If you are using iSCSI to connect to the repository, you again need a dedicated network.

This requirement of five network connections does not include the use of multiple network adapters for virtual machine traffic or merging network cards (for load balancing and high availability). Furthermore, it does not consider the use of multiple network connections or iSCSI Microsoft Multipath I / O (MPIO) to provide additional resiliency.

5. In this calculation it is assumed that you are using to connect to the 1 Gbit / s. When using the connections of 10 Gb / s is changing. It makes no sense to allocate a separate interface 10 Gb / s for administrative traffic or traffic CSV. In environments with 10 Gbit / s are likely to be two connections; use the union network card for each of them to provide fault tolerance and adequate quality of service Quality of Service (QoS), to ensure the capacity for each type of traffic.

What operating system do I use?

Once you determine the appropriate CPU, memory, disks and network, all you have to do — is to select the operating system. But what kind of editorial choose — Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter or the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012? From the viewpoint of Hyper-V difference. All three operating systems have the same limitation, clustering capabilities and functions. The decision depends on whether the operating system will be used on the host Hyper-V.

If this is Windows Server, then you planning to freely move virtual machines between hosts? In Hyper-V Server 2012 can not be installed on a virtual machine operating system Windows Server. And it makes sense — the operating system is free and is fine if you do not install the virtual machine operating system Windows Server. If you use virtual desktops (VD1) to the virtual machine of Windows 8, or you have virtual machines only on UNIX or Linux, you guided on Hyper-V 2012.

If you need to use Windows Servers in virtual machines, you’ll like editors Windows Server 2012 Standard, which allows you to run two simultaneous virtual machines running Windows Server. If I need to run four virtual machines with the operating system Windows Server, then I could buy two instances of Windows Server 2012 Standard. Note that you can run on the same server and other virtual machines, not with the server operating systems. By the number of virtual machines are no restrictions, there is only a limit on the number of virtual machines running Windows Server, running on Hypcr-V, VMware or other virtualization platform.

If you have to run multiple instances of the operating system Windows Server, you will need to editors Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, which will make it possible to run an unlimited number of virtual machines with the server operating systems. When calculating the value of note to Standard and Datacenter in relation to its environment. For example, if you need to run at least six virtual machines with Windows Server, it is cheaper to buy multiple copies of the Standard, than Datacenter. And if you use clustering and want to move a virtual machine, you will have to take into account the following factors: Windows Server licenses are tied to the hardware, and can be moved between servers only once in 90 days. Let’s look at an example of a regional office in which two clusters deployed virtualization. Again, we are talking about licensing Windows, not Hypcr-V, so all I’m talking about, is independent of the hypervisor. Each Hyper-V host is usually running four virtual machines, so I need two copies of Windows Server 2012 Standard for each node. Since the nodes included in the cluster, I can move virtual machines between nodes. For example, to install the updates I need to move all the virtual machines to the Node B (as a result it will simultaneously work eight VMs) while I install updates and restart the server A. Then, I need to move all eight cars at node A, while I will update and restart Node B. But I can only do this after waiting 90 days of moving all virtual machines on the Node B. In addition, if a node fails, then I can not get within 90 days to move the displaced back to virtual machines when the assembly will be restored. In order to freely move the virtual machines, do I need a sufficient number of free licenses to provide them all the virtual machines that can only be on this node, that is, eight cars. To do this, I need four copies of the Standard for each server, making Datacenter in this case, a reasonable option. Many companies often misunderstand this comparison, which is of great importance when it comes to planning the number of licenses required. Typically, when virtualization is used little, you will have enough Windows Server 2012 Standard. While fully virtualized environments is likely to need a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter.

Another important question — whether to use the Server Core mode or mode with a graphical user interface. In general, use is preferably Core Server, as it requires the installation. Therefore, especially if you are not very familiar with Windows Server 2012, initially install the server with graphical user interface. Make all the settings, learn, and then remove the GUI and management tools, and use the server in Server Core, controlling it remotely from a computer running Windows 8.

Installing Hyper-V

So, you have installed Windows Server 2012, apply the latest update, connect the server to the storage system, renamed the network connections make it easy to distinguish (and combined them, if necessary) and set up the IP-address. The next step — setting role of Hyper-V. This problem can be solved from the GUI using the Server Manager or using Powershell:

Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V -IncludeManagementTools -Restart

The advantage of using the Server Manager is that you can create a virtual switch on the selected network adapter server. Virtual network adapters that you are setting up virtual machines are connected to the switch to access the external network. By default, the virtual network adapter is created on the host, for networking with virtual machines. If you have a dedicated network adapter for the control, disconnect the adapter after the completion of the overall installation.

Create a virtual switch after the installation — very simple task that can be performed using Powershell. The choice between using the Server Manager (local or remote) or Powershell — it’s mostly a matter of taste. If you automate the installation of Hyper-V, then use Powershell, as to avoid manual actions.

Here are the basic steps that you must perform to install by using Server Manager.

1.Zaregistriruytes on the server that will host Hyper-V, a user with administrative privileges and run the Server Manager. Or run the Server Manager on a remote machine using an account with administrative privileges on the server that will host Hyper-V.

2. Select «Add Roles and Features» from the menu «Management».

3. Click «Next».

4. On the page «Select Installation Type» select «Install Role-based» and click «Next».

5.On page «Server Selection» from the list of servers, select the server to which you want to install Hyper-V, and then click «Next».

2007 list of «server roles» select the Hyper-V and confirm the automatic installation management tools.

6.On page «Create a virtual switch», select the network adapter that will be used for virtual machine traffic, and click «Next.»

7.Ostavte mode «Enable live migration» off and click «Next.» Live migration easily incorporated later.

8.Ukazhite storage for virtual machine or accept the default and click «Next.»

Check the box to automatically reboot the server if necessary, and click «Yes» in the confirmation window. Click «Install».

After the server restarts, you will become the proud owner of Server Hyper-V. Running the command bcdedit / enum from the command line indicates that the hypervisor is now loaded automatically at system startup.

Start Server Manager, under «Tools», select «Manager Hyper-V» and connect to your server. It is no virtual machines. But if you press the «Manager virtual switches», you will see a single virtual switch, which will be called as well as the controller and a network adapter, such as Realtek PClc GBE Family Controller.

I recommend to change the name to something more meaningful, such as «External switch» that it is clear which network it is connected. Use generic names for the switches on all hosts Hypcr-V is very important. If you move virtual machines between hosts, the switch with the same name must exist on both the source and the destination host, the virtual machine has kept the network connection. In addition, do not select Allow management operating system to share this network adapter. This setting is necessary only if you have a separate network adapter for managing the server, or if you only have one network adapter that is shared by virtual machines and the host. Here you can create additional switches, if necessary.

Now you can begin to create virtual machines on its stand-alone server. For best results, create a cluster of multiple servers Hypcr-V and enable live migration.

There are a few points that need to be addressed.

-If you enable Windows Update, you probably do not want your server to automatically reboot after installing updates. Therefore, if you are using a corporate update management solution, adjust the service interval, during which the Hyper-V server can reboot, so that it does not intersect the working hours. During the reboot Hypcr-V virtual machines are not available.

-If you are using anti-virus software on the server, Hyper-V, in order to improve performance should be excluded from scanning certain files and folders.

Back up your virtual machines. Windows Server 2012 added advantage is that if you have a backup of the virtual machine, then import it to the new Hyper-V server is very simple. You do not need to pre-export it.

-If your Hyper-V server has a large amount of RAM, the default Windows creates a large swap file. The size of this file can be modified manually, as most of the memory is used by virtual machines. You can easily create a server Hypcr-V swap file size of 4 GB, using the module «System» in the Control Panel. Click the «Advanced» tab, click «Settings» in the «Performance» tab again, «Advanced», then click «Edit» in the time-fact «Virtual Memory» and set the desired size. Click «Set» and «OK» in all open dialog boxes.

It was a brief overview of the installation process Hypcr-V. By itself, this process is simple, but in the choice of hardware and configuration must be aware of the above-mentioned features. In the next article, I plan to examine the process of creating virtual machines on the server Hypcr-V.

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