Posts Tagged Hyper-V Server R2

The Full Circle secures Ascom Network Testing for Windows Server 2008 R2 Early Adopter Program

The Full Circle (www.thefullcircle.com) has been working with Microsoft Virtualisation technologies since before they were Microsoft Virtualisation technologies… (think back to Virtual PC from Connectix ;-)).

More recently and formally, we have been working with Microsoft Hyper-V since the v1 Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) in spring 2008.  We attended various RDP Bootcamp training and used pre-release/beta versions of Hyper-V extensively to accelerate testing and migration for our Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customer, Newman Martin and Buchan – read more at https://reubenjcook.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/windows-essential-business-server-2008-launch/

For Hyper-V v2 we are a UK Early Adopter Program (EAP) partner for Windows Server 2008 R2, with a focus on virtualisation, specifically Hyper-V with failover clustering.  We’ve been working with various builds and flavours of Hyper-V v2 including the command line only and free Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and also the full GUI versions available in the full Windows Server 2008 R2 product.

For an EAP, or TAP for that matter, you need a customer who’s willing to participate in deploying and testing early release software (Beta’s and Release Candidate builds) in a production environment, and then talk about it through press releases, case studies, etc. also known in Microsoft speak as ‘customer evidence’.
The benefits are many!  Microsoft gets real world deployments of their new product ahead of general release which helps with convincing the wider market that the technology is dependable and fit to deploy.  The customer gets to the latest technology for their business ahead of their competition, and often assistance/support such as sponsored consulting, licenses, etc.  The partner (us) gets supported training, technical assistance, and exposure to new products ahead of our competition, plus, of course, exposure in the market through PR & various co-marketing activities.

Our EAP customer deployment was with Ascom Network Testing (formerly Argogroup – www.argogroup.com).  Ascom Network Testing is part of the Mobile Test Solutions business of the Swiss company Ascom (www.ascom.com), and is a global provider of mobile test & measurement solutions for some of the worlds largest mobile network operators (the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, etc.). 
Specifically Ascom wanted to update and improve the backend server components of a product called Monitor Master.  Monitor Master is an end-to-end solution for measuring ‘User Experience’ and collates and presents measurement data from mobile services probes out in the field.  Monitor Master is a Business Intelligence (BI) platform with a data warehouse back-end running on Microsoft SQL Server.

The project was given the title ‘EPIC’ due to the scale of the larger deployments which can be several hundreds of Gigabytes of data.  The primary goals were to accelerate the quality and consistency of customer deployments of the Monitor Master server components.  This was achieved by defining and testing new reference architectures including O/S setup, database configuration, hardware platform architecture, and operational procedures to manage the environment.

Clearly Virtualisation can help accelerate almost any platform development project and due to the timings of the project, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V v2 was an obvious choice.  Soon into the project we came to realise that due to the performance and other benefits of Hyper-V v2 it could actually form part of the solution, not just a tool to help develop it! 🙂

Our old mate, business associate & mentor (for all things PR & communications), John Dean (COO of www.showmethegolf.tv) helped us put together a short release that announced this exciting project, it went out to coincide with the global Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 launch events and is available online via PRWEB (http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2009/10/prweb3039184.htm), but also below for your enjoyment!:

PRESS RELEASE

The Full Circle Secures Client for Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP

Ascom Network Testing Enrolled as Early Adopter for Hyper-V Virtualisation

London, 15 October 2009 – The Full Circle, the Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in virtualisation and infrastructure deployments, announced today that it had secured Ascom Network Testing’s participation in the Windows Server 2008 R2 UK Early Adopter Program (EAP).

Ascom Network Testing is a global mobile data software systems provider. They offer test and measurement solutions to many of the world’s largest mobile network operators, including Verizon, Orange, and T-Mobile.

The EAP enables selected partners to take part in co-funded consulting engagements to drive product deployments prior to full launch. This gives partners and customers strategic advantage while enabling Microsoft to develop public references for their marketing efforts.

Reuben Cook, Founder, The Full Circle – “We are delighted that Ascom Network Testing will be part of the Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP. We are confident it will offer tremendous value as it will enable them to reap the benefits that the new technologies can deliver to the business well in advance of their competitors.  Windows Server 2008 R2 is planned for release October 22nd”

Kit Smithers, Chief Technical Officer, Ascom Network Testing Ltd – ”We immediately recognised the benefits of participating in the program. We have a particularly strong interest in the benefits of virtualisation and consolidation, and look forward to enjoying the performance and flexibility benefits that it will give us.”

Mike Peers, Channel Development Manager, Virtualisation, Microsoft – “The Full Circle have been an active partner on our Windows Server 2008 R2 Early Adoption Programme.  The programme is designed to help partners gain early experience deploying Hyper-V, whilst also benefitting customers in the early adoption of the technology.”

Cook concluded: “At first we saw Hyper-V as a component that could accelerate Ascom’s internal solution development process.  But it has quickly become apparent that Hyper-V could in itself become part of their client solution offering, due to the power, performance and stability it offers.  It has been a great success.”

Ends:  340 Words

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Hyper-V Server R2 RC failover cluster to Enterprise/full version RTM…

A couple of months ago I wrote about the joys of upgrading your Hyper-V R2 release candidate cluster to a new version (e.g. release code).  This process involved tearing down and destroying your cluster which can be a complete pain on many levels (not just for your users! ;-))

Anyway, on this occasion I’m attempting to upgrade a Hyper-V R2 Release Candidate failover cluster to Enterprise RTM full product without destroying the cluster (although rebuilding the nodes clean – this is a must to be supported).

What this means is that from Beta->RC and from RC->RTM, you will have to do the following:

1. Move workloads onto fewest node/s

2. Move ownership of Storage from the node you are going to remove and rebuild.  You may need to stop the cluster service if th Quorum will not move (it will if you force it by stopping the service ;-))

3. Using ‘Failover Cluster Manager’ drill-down on Nodes, and right-click on the non-primary node, chose More Actions…, Evict – you’ll get a message warning that evicting a node can cause problems if a clustered application requires that node.. obviously! – click ‘Evict node NODENAME’

3.5. Move the node out of the domain back to a workgroup (so we can reuse this name) and delete the computer account from AD

4. When it comes to the last remaining node in the cluster, due to Quorum requirements, you will need to destroy the cluster.  Select the cluster, goto More Actions… select Destroy the Cluster

5. Remove the ‘Failover cluster virtual network name account’ from AD Users & Computers

5. Being slightly paranoid, I also disabled the Failover Clustering service from with Hyper-V Configuration and removed the machine from the domain (back to a workgroup)

3. Wipe/Reload with new version of Hyper-V.

4. Create new 1 Node Cluster, join to SAN etc

5. Move VMs, offline, to new Hyper-V host.

a. Upgrade VM’s IC’s

6. Wipe/Reload remaining host

7. Join it to the cluster

8. Smile, before you do the same for RTM… 😉

 

  1. Configure Clustering
    1. Install the Windows Server Failover Clustering feature
      from a cmd shell “start /w ocsetup FailoverCluster-FullServer”
    2. Configure Shared Storage
      Use iscsicpl.exe, if the service is not started then start it – click ‘Yes’
      Use Quick Connect to connect to the iSCSI Target, click ‘Done’ to list the targets
      Connect to the Quorum target, then add the volume
      Repeat adding the other cluster volumes (VHDs, Data, Logs, etc.)
    3. Add the new node to the Failover Cluster
      Use Failover Cluster Manager to validate the cluster
      Add the node to the cluster even if validation fails (it will if node O/S is different)
    4. Modify Hyper-V Settings for the cluster
      Change the location of VHDs and VMs to:
      C:\ClusterStorage\volume1\hyper-v\
  2. Move virtual machines and correct network errors on the target node
    1. Use Hyper-V VM Settings to correct the network setting if they report a Configuration Error
  3. Start the VM’s on the new node J
  4. Rebuild the next one..  😉

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Windows Server 2008 R2 & Hyper-V Cluster upgrades or not…

Ahh the joys of participating in beta programs! 😉

 As part of my day job, and as co-founder of IT consulting firm “The Full Circle” www.thefullcirle.com – a Microsoft Gold Partner that likes to keep ahead of the game (or at least stay in it!) by being an early adopter, we are always working with new software and that means building and rebuilding boxes.  Clearly virtualisation can make huge savings, especially in time but not always, especially when working with beta & pre-release software…

Our current journey of discovery is clustering with Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) which is currently in late stages of development (went RC about month ago), and we are delighted to be a UK Early Adopter Program partner! 🙂

We have been working with a couple of different builds, the beta build 7000, and recenly the Release Candidate build 7100.  Our own infrastructure was built using the beta, as is our customer EAP project, and following a number of cluster issues we performed an in-place upgrade to the RC code…

However, last week I learnt that in-place upgrades to clusters are not supported across beta/pre-releases to RC, and eventually to RTM – this is often the case as would never be a mass adopter / real-world scenario.

What this means is that from Beta->RC and from RC->RTM, you will have to do the following:

1. Move workloads onto fewest nodes (1 in my case)

2. Using ‘Failover Cluster Manager’ drill-down on Nodes, and right-click on the non-primary node, chose More Actions…, Evict – you’ll get a message warning that evicting a node can cause problems if a clustered application requires that node.. obviously! – click ‘Evict node NODENAME’

3. When it comes to the last remaining node in the cluster, due to Quorum requirements, you will need to destroy the cluster.  Select the cluster, goto More Actions… select Destroy the Cluster

4. Remove the ‘Failover cluster virtual network name account’ from AD Users & Computers

5. Being slightly paranoid, I also disabled the Failover Clustering service from with Hyper-V Configuration and removed the machine from the domain (back to a workgroup)

3. Wipe/Reload with new version of Hyper-V.

4. Create new 1 Node Cluster, join to SAN etc

5. Move VMs, offline, to new Hyper-V host.

a. Upgrade VM’s IC’s

6. Wipe/Reload remaining host

7. Join it to the cluster

8. Smile, before you do the same for RTM… 😉

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Hyper-V Server R2 with WS2008 R2 iSCSI SAN PoC

today (and this week) I’ll mostly be building a Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 (Beta) with Windows Server 2008 R2 (Beta/RC build 7100) iSCSI SAN Proof of Concept enviornment..

Hardware platform:

PoC – Virtual Machine Hosts (x2)
HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, 250GB Non Hot-Plug SATA, DVD±RW, Gigabit Ethernet
4 x 2GB Unbuffered ECC PC2 6400 DDR2 SDRAM
1 x HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
 
PoC – SAN Shared Storage (iSCSI, Desktop SATA)
HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, 250GB Non Hot-Plug SATA, DVD±RW, Gigabit Ethernet
4 x 1GB Unbuffered ECC PC2 6400 DDR2 SDRAM
 
2 x HP 250GB Hard Drive
2 x Seagate ST3100340AS 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm *32MB Cache* (OEM)
1 x HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter

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