Live Migration “significantly more complicated”

It can be difficult to set up a complete Hyper-V environment.ย  There are a lot of user interfaces needed to perform the various configuration tasks — especially during initial deployment.ย  It’s great to see that the mainstream technology media has arrived at the same conclusion.

Jason Brooks, Executive Editor at eWeek, recently reviewed Windows Server 2008 R2 and had the following to say about Live Migration and Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV):

Live Migration was very easy to use, but I found the process of configuring and using Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2 significantly more complicated than with VMware ESX server and VirtualCenter. In contrast to VMware’s product, where all tasks are gathered together in a purpose-built interface, the tasks required to configure Cluster Shared Volumes in Windows Server involve visits to various existing and new Windows utilities.

It’s true.ย  The Microsoft virtualization solution is a conglomeration, and configuring all of the various layers, roles, and features on top of the general-purpose Windows OS is complicated.

You may need Windows to run parts of your business, but that doesn’t mean you need Hyper-V.ย  Take control of Windows — by running it on rock-solid, purpose-built, enterprise-class VMware vSphere — before it takes control of you.

Simplify, don’t complexify.

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21 comments

  1. NiTRo’s avatar

    “640k should be enough” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Jeff’s avatar

    “Don’t believe everything you read.”

  3. Phil’s avatar

    Opening Failover Cluster Manager and clicking the Enable Clustered Shared Volumes link (the only “configuration” option available for CSVs is to enable them!) is a complicated process? Really??

  4. Stu Fox’s avatar

    Various layers, roles & features? There is precisely one role (Hyper-V) & one feature (failover clustering) that is required. And the majority of configuration is done in the failover cluster manager, the only thing you have to do to the Hyper-V role is configure the vswitches.

    Of course, in an enterprise environment you’d have a tool like Config Mgr in place which would do your OS build & configuration for you.

    To be honest, it seemed like that guy hasn’t used Windows for a large number of years. It’s been quite a while since I’ve run into a Windows admin who hasn’t used Windows clustering.

    And like Phil says, configuring CSV a complicated process? Really? Enable it and add storage.

  5. rbrambley’s avatar

    Stu,

    One role and one feature for Hyper-V? You make it sound like all we need is a couple of Windows 2008 Servers. Hyper-V requires considerable more environment pre configuration before an administrator is ready to enable. It is what it is, but don’t make it sound as simple as just adding a role like DNS!

    Here’s my understanding of what is involved in getting a Hyper-V environment with Live Migration up and running: http://vmetc.com/2009/10/05/configuration-of-hyper-v-live-migration-%e2%80%93-run-dmc-style/

    BTW, I’ve run into a lot of Windows admins who have happily done away with Windows clustering once their servers were virtualized on VMware. For the record, a smaller number of others have kept MSCS clustering for a handful of apps running in VMs.

    Needing AD and MSCS before I can build HA virtual hosts is counter to what we are all used to. Personally, I feel building the virtual infrastructure needs to remain a stand alone implementation. The ability for configuring AD infrastructure afterward virtually reduces TCO.

  6. Phil’s avatar

    Rbrambley, your comments hold true in an absolute green field site where there was no pre-existing infrastructure.

    I would guess though that in the vast majority of cases vitualization is implemented where there is an existing IT operation which for the Hyper-V target market (majority Windows with a couple of Linux servers) is pretty much guaranteed to be DNS and AD already in place.

  7. rbrambley’s avatar

    Phil,

    In my experience, companies have treated migrating to VI as a move to a new data center. They prefer to take their existing AD and DNS and p2v as guests. Yes, there is then a design / administrative decision to whether to leave physical DCs and DNS servers.

    Point is that a pre existing AD infrastructure and a dependent clustering configuration is not necessary. IMO, for maximum flexibility it should not be either. Therefore, if a VI solution can’t create an absolute green field site (like a new physical data center) then it introduces challenges that other solutions do not.

  8. ptrdnls’s avatar

    Is this another sales job? Greenfield? for small businesses maybe, but the organizations who have the need (and can spend the money) and will spend it to reduce opex, most likely already have AD in their environment.

    AT this juncture there is no value in bashing other VM solutions. If it was hard for you…fine. VMware was hard for us because the problem we were trying to solve was MS server sprawl. The team was familiar with MS technologies therefore easier (integration with installed technologies (AD, SCOM)) and cheaper (labor, lower learning curve;quicker time to value)

    From our business prospective, Hyper -V was a better fit and is good enough (“we only pay for what we use”) Does that make VMware a worse product? Absolutely not. In fact we are learning quite a bit from our peers who are using VMware to consolidate their UNIX environment.

    That being said, can someone help us on how to scale a storage environment once we have virtualized the I/O? We have increased the VM denisity (Quad Cores, more memory) and are using HP’s Virtual Connect switch to virtulize I/O but our Clariion Array is limited to how much storage it can support and we have to bring everything down each time we add storage.

    Thoughts?

  9. Yusuf Ozturk’s avatar

    @Eric Gray and rbrambley
    Windows Server 2008 is a server product, not only virtualization software. That means you can use it as a Web Server, File Server, Virtualization Solution or even you can use it for playing pc games. I’m setting up new CSV nodes almost everyday due to my job. It takes 5 minutes for iscsi, 5 minutes for mpio, 10 minutes for cluster service and hyper-v role with a few restarts maybe. Setting up a system is not a problem for users. It’s a one time job which gives you great pleasure. I always loved creating and working on new things.

    Microsoft needs few years to beat Vmware. But then MS will be leader in the market. Eric Gray also realized that and fears because he is a fan of Vmware. But Yoda always says “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I mean please don’t fear from Hyper-V, it only gives you suffer ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. NiTRo’s avatar

    @Yusuf Ozturk
    You mean Hyper-V is the Death Star of the Microsoft Empire ?

  11. Yusuf Ozturk’s avatar

    No, I didn’t mean that but you have a great imagination ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Yusuf Ozturk’s avatar

    Yes, we have that problem too ๐Ÿ™ We have Dell M610 servers, applied hotfix, there is no problem right now but that hotfix doesn’t correct issues well. I know and I always say VMware is the best product for virtualization but I believe it will change. Microsoft has more depth and more money. A few years later, Microsoft will overtake VMware. Microsoft has a bigger ecosystem (certified partners, partners, money, money..) and that breaks the balance.

    If Google buys EMC or VMWare today, many interesting things could be happen because that destroys all plans and roadmap of Microsoft.

  13. NiTRo’s avatar

    Microsoft seams to use money for marketing, not for making their product better ๐Ÿ˜‰ Apple & VMware do both for example…

  14. Miquel ร€ngel’s avatar

    I’M setting up a hyper-v cluster and doesn’t seem so dificult if you know the windows environment.
    @Yusuf Ozturk the hyper-v R2 it’s a server with one only role, the hypervisor

  15. Rick Sheikh’s avatar

    Setting up a Hyper-V R2 Cluster is a pretty straight forward process and I don’t agree with the sighted article/author.

    Add Hyper-V Roles on all nodes, and Install FCM feature
    Configure vSwitches
    Format Shared Storage
    Build the Cluster from FCM
    Enabled CSV, add Storage
    Whip up Live Migration capable workloads.

    1. Eric Gray’s avatar

      I think you missed a few reboots. And MPIO. And NIC teaming. And the dedicated CSV network. And…

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