SCVMM

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System Center 2012 RTM

System Center 2012 RTM planned for "2H CY11" -- can you feel the excitement?

Resource Pools to the Rescue

VMware vSphere Resource Pools are a proven means to reliably share infrastructure. Hyper-V requires administrators to manage CPU reservations and limits on an individual VM basis.

Microsoft likens vSphere cloud to ancient fax machines

Director of Microsoft Virtualization says vSphere hybrid clouds remind him of ancient fax machines, overlooking reality of current IaaS landscape.

Cloudy with a chance of vaporware

A year ago at MMS 2009, Microsoft criticized VMware for not offering public-private cloud federation. Today, Microsoft still has nothing to show in that area.

The Truth About VM SAN Transfers

While Microsoft marketing material claims Hyper-V and SCVMM can transfer large virtual machine files and templates over a SAN, the truth is that all VM transfers are done over the network. Only VMware ESX leverages high-speed storage area networking for VM migration.

The Truth About Storage Hot Add and Remove

VMware vSphere 4 offers multiple options for expanding virtual machine storage with zero downtime, including the ability to grow a running virtual disk. Hyper-V marketing literature makes a similar claim, but is limited to simply adding another virtual disk.

SCVMM/PRO Complexity: High

According to Microsoft's own documentation, integrating SCOM with SCVMM adds high complexity and additional cost to your virtualization environment.

Hyper-V Console Disconnects During Live Migration

When a Hyper-V virtual machine console is connected and a live migration is initiated -- automatically with PRO Tips or manually -- the remote client disconnects. The situation must be resolved manually by the administrator, unlike VMware ESX, which seamlessly migrates remote console connections during VMotion.

Is SCVMM 2008 R2 really banned from VMworld?

It makes for great drama to say that VMware will not allow Microsoft Virtualization to exhibit their latest product -- but it is not true.

Hello, SCVMM 2008 R2

Originally promised within 60 days of Hyper-V R2, today MSFT announced availability of SCVMM 2008 R2.

Single Pane of Glass — Hyper-V Edition

Do not believe the hype from Microsoft execs about System Center single pane of glass management. The loosely integrated tools require administrators to use numerous interfaces.

On Quick Storage Migration in R2

Unlike Storage VMotion from VMware, Quick Storage Migration requires a VM to suspend and be unavailable for a period of time, making it unsuitable for production.

Don’t Sysprep Me, Bro!

With SCVMM, VM templates are generalized with Sysprep before storing in the image library -- the original VM is destroyed and cannot be updated. vCenter only Syspreps after cloning.

Wild SCVMM 2008 R2 rumors and speculation

It’s really getting out of hand — crazy rumors and speculation surrounding the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 release date are indeed baffling. Take the following example*, where an anonymous author had the audacity to say: It is our goal that the final (RTM) version of SCVMM 2008 R2 will ship within 60 […]

Choose any two: Hyper-V, HA, Linux

It is very difficult to cleanly shut down a Linux VM on Hyper-V if it is configured for HA. This is because there is no orderly guest shutdown feature in the integration components.

Hyper-V snapshots: not for production

One of the greatest things about virtual machines is the ability to take snapshots, which can be used to quickly roll a VM back to a known state. Previously, I have written about some of the shortcomings with Microsoft’s Hyper-V snapshots.  Or were they checkpoints?  I forget… but that’s not important.  The main problem with […]

Save $14,970 on VMware ESX management

System Center Virtual Machine Manager is licensed per physical host -- Hyper-V or VMware ESX -- at a cost of $1497 each.

IGT Part 6: Cluster invari-what ID?

SCVMM adds a custom attribute to VirtualCenter (vCenter).

Network World weighs in on SCVMM-VI3 Management

Yesterday, Network World published this article: Microsoft’s SC-VMM provides limited view of VMware-based VMs.  I’ve quoted some of the best parts and followed each with some additional resources to reinforce the author’s points. Using SC VMM to initially make a VM image instance wasn’t easy or intuitive. Ahh, that sounds like this issue regarding VMware […]

May I speak to the manager?

When you centrally manage multiple virtualization hosts, what measures can be taken to protect the manager itself from outages?  While availability could be a concern at first glance, a management platform like VMware vCenter can generally tolerate a short outage without too many folks noticing — VM workloads would never be affected.  One exception is […]

Microsoft tries deception, gets caught

In a failed effort to acknowledge viability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Microsoft is caught posting false comments on VCritical.

SCVMM Damage Control

Yesterday I wrote a summary of the hazards of using SCVMM to manage VI3 — highlighting previously published VCritical articles as well as linking to a new series of videos on Why Choose VMware.  Looks like VMware may have hit a nerve, as the Microsoft virtualization team scrambled to issue a barrage of rebuttals. My […]

Managing VI3 with SCVMM considered harmful

Features found in VMware ESX are unnecessarily neutered when attempting to manage by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.

Hyper-V Linux Smokescreen

Hyper-V Linux guests (SUSE) do not yet have integration components or customization capabilities. Nor can you P2V a Linux system to Hyper-V.

Deceptive Microsoft SCVMM Advertising

System Center Virtual Machine Manager is limited to managing virtual machines (VMs). Claims that SCVMM can manage physical infrastructure are misleading.

SCVMM 2008 Management Pack Finally Released

The System Center Operations Manager Management Pack (MP) for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 was finally released yesterday.  As I wrote previously, the documentation was initially misleading on this feature — eventually we learned that the MP would ship 60 days after SCVMM 2008 released. Let’s use PowerShell to find out if Microsoft made […]

No, not that VMM

Are you using VMM?  Don’t answer yet — trick question. I just saw an email come across with “VMM” in the subject.  No, it wasn’t about that VMM, it was something else.  Then I saw Scott Lowe’s tweet about VMM beta 1.5.  No, this isn’t that VMM, either.  Whoa, off the top of my head […]

Which guest operating systems can be customized by SCVMM?

Although SLES 10 is supposedly supported by SCVMM 2008, administrators must look elsewhere for a Linux guest customization solution.

Using SCVMM to attach ISO images to VMware ESX VMs

By design, System Center Virtual Machine Manager copies ISO CD/DVD images to managed hosts instead of sharing. For VMware ESX it uses SFTP. For ESXi, it fails.

MS Virtual Server VM found to perform poorly while running inside an ESX VM

I came across this forum post today where a person is trying to evaluate SCVMM and Virtual Server — all running inside an ESX VM.  Apparently, the performance is bad… Doh! At least someone responded with this helpful analogy: It’s like buying a walk-in refrigerator and then putting a smaller one inside of it.

Clean up vCenter with PowerShell after SCVMM leaves

When System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) connects to VirtualCenter/vCenter, several changes are made. Learn how to recover everything with PowerShell.

Your session has been terminated

Wow, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (SCVMM) sure plays rough with VirtualCenter vCenter.  I found that every time I restart the SCVMM server it kills all VI Client connections. That is not very nice.  But then again, neither was deleting my ESX templates.

VM Resource Management: Hyper-V versus SCVMM

Users that wish to implement Hyper-V CPU reservations and limits are forced to open another tool, Hyper-V Manager, instead of configure these with SCVMM.

Snapshots that shoot back

Although the Hyper-V Manager and SCVMM allow removing snapshots from running VMs, they are not actually merged until the VM is powered off.

Thanks for all the port groups!

VMware ESX virtual machine networking is pretty straightforward.  A virtual switch (vSwitch) is created on each host by default and is associated with one or more physical NICs.  When multiple physical NICs are used, virtual machines benefit from added redundancy and load balancing by simply connecting to such a vSwitch. However, VMs don’t connect directly […]

Don’t know much about resource pools

When using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage VMware ESX, VMs are removed from their resource pools during migration with VMotion.

Shipping is a feature, too

I happened to stumble across this item via Technorati recently: photos from the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 ship party.  The first thing that came to mind was the infamous quote from Mike Neil last year, “Shipping is a feature, too.” Getting software out the door is about prioritization and tradeoffs.  Did they get […]

IGT Part 3: One-VM-per-LUN doubters

This article is part of a series on Incoming Google Traffic (IGT). Picture this: you finally have your shiny new Hyper-V cluster configured, after asking your SAN administrator to create a LUN for you.  You create a virtual machine on that LUN and test the quick migration failover from one node to another.  It works.  […]

What’s New (and What’s Vapor) in SCVMM 2008

I’m still taking in all of the sights and sounds of Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.  The What’s New page is very interesting.  Some of the things listed are apparently even in the product.  But not this: Thoroughly redesigned and rebuilt Web interface for the self-service portal, including user access to the PowerShell […]

IGT Part 2: SAN Misers

This article is part of a series on Incoming Google Traffic (IGT). This next group of keywords are due to an unfortunate design problem with Microsoft SCVMM and Hyper-V:  ISO images are copied from the image library to individual VM directories on SAN storage before connecting. “share image file instead of copying it” mount iso […]

Checkshots or Snappoints?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: What’s the difference between a checkpoint and a snapshot?

Say it ain’t so, PRO!

As you know from reading previous posts, I am currently checking out System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008.  Of course, my test environment also has VMware VirtualCenter Server and a couple of ESX hosts. I turned on PRO Tips for my ESX cluster and it looks like there is something my PRO doesn’t know:

PRO Tips: pros only, please

I recently had the opportunity to attend a two-day Microsoft training class on Hyper-V and SCVMM 2008.  This was a typical Microsoft course with hands-on labs and was billed as a Technical Deep-Dive – whatever that means. I was particularly interested in PRO Tips, which is consistently mentioned as a key benefit of SCVMM.  It […]

Two thousand?

Gartner recently published a report with some interesting details on System Center Operations Manager (SCOM).  One of the three key findings: Operations Manager 2007’s value diminishes when managing non-Microsoft IT elements, whether management is provided by Microsoft or a third party. Sort of reminds me of the value of SCVMM-VirtualCenter integration, but that’s another topic.

Misleading documentation or none at all? I’ll take the latter, thanks.

This afternoon I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to integrate System Center Operations Manager reporting with my SCVMM 2008 evaluation setup. I dutifully read the documentation which led me around in circles to various Microsoft websites.  Download the management pack?  It doesn’t seem to exist.  The one for SCVMM 2007?  That doesn’t seem right. Check Google… […]

Those darn spell checkers!

Spell checkers are great, aren’t they?  We have come to rely on them.  As I was writing yesterday’s post I encountered something amusing and wanted to share it with you.  It is a good reminder not to be too quick in accepting suggestions from a computer! I actually feel a bit sorry for SCVMM.  ALL […]

SCVMM ignores own plank, emphasizes VirtualCenter’s speck

In my ongoing probe of the newly-released System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (SCVMM), I have stumbled across something that stuck me as more than just a little hypocritical. First, some background: Microsofties have gone out of their way this year to emphasize that environments with multiple VMware VirtualCenter Servers are in great pain.  A […]

SCVMM to VMware: You will be assimilated

VirtualCenter/vCenter administrators need to be aware of the fact that templates are completely deleted from the ESX datastore when using SCVMM "import" feature.

Upgrading your management platform from the entry-level edition

Both VMware VirtualCenter and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) come in an entry-level edition for sites that are not yet at enterprise deployment levels.  VMware calls their offering Foundation and Microsoft’s is Workgroup Edition.  Similarly, both vendors also offer free, time-limited evaluations of their enterprise products.

Storage vendors unanimously applaud SCVMM innovation

A surprising feature of SCVMM and Hyper-V is the requirement to copy multi-gigabyte ISO image files from the library server to individual VM directories on SAN storage instead of sharing a single instance.

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