Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hyper-V and Windows Power Management

Windows Power Management is a feature that works with CPUs that can dynamically adjust processor voltage and core frequency to decrease heat and power usage.
As you can see in Task Manager, while the Maximum Speed is 2.30 GHz, the actual speed is typically much lower ~1.0 GHz.
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However, installing Hyper-V feature, it seems that the Processor Power Management doesn’t appear to work anymore

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Processor power management is still running but when the hypervisor is enabled, it
is in charge of managing processors, including processor power
management.  Therefore, you won’t see Processor Power Management activity
when looking at Task Manager or the root’s (parent) performance counters. You
have to look at the hypervisor logical processor counter sets to see C-states,
P-states.

Take a look at this article about Hyper-V Logical Processor Counters.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/tvoellm/archive/2008/05/09/hyper-v-performance-counters-part-three-of-many-hyper-v-logical-processors-counter-set.aspx

Unknown devices in Windows 2012 R2 Virtual Machines

If you are using Windows 2012 R2 hypervisor and you want to create a VM using one of the following OS:

  • Windows 2003
  • Windows 2008
  • Windows 2008 R2
  • Windows 2012
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8

You will notice that in the device manager two devices are in an unknown state.

Unknown State

This is expected because the two missing devices are related to two Hyper-V 2012 R2 features supported only by Windows 2012 R2 Virtual Machines.

The two new features are:

 

Automatic activation

This is a new feature in Windows Server 2012 R2 that makes it easier to use the licensing advantages accorded by Windows Server Datacenter. Windows Server Datacenter provides unlimited virtual machine instances of Windows Server for a licensed system. With automatic activation, Windows Server 2012 R2 guests will automatically activate themselves when running on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.

 

Enhanced Session Mode

In previous versions of Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Connection provided redirection of only the virtual machine screen, keyboard, and mouse with limited copy functionality. To get additional redirection abilities, a remote desktop connection to the virtual machine could be initiated, but this required a network path to the virtual machine.

Starting with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V can now redirect local resources to a virtual machine session through Virtual Machine Connection tool. The enhanced session mode connection uses a Remote Desktop Connection session via the virtual machine bus (VMBus), so no network connection to the virtual machine is required.

I will write an in-depth article about these interesting features ASAP.

System Center Operations Manager – Manually remove dependencies from Management Packs

My friend Riccardo Corna wrote an interesting article about how to remove dependencies from Management Packs in Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.

The original article is written in italian so you can read it here: http://riccardocorna.com/rimuovere-manualmente-dipendenze-management-pack-microsoft-systemcenter-securereferenceoverride/

If you are an English reader, you can read it using the (automatically) translated version: http://translate.google.com/translate?langpair=it%7Cen&u=http://riccardocorna.com/rimuovere-manualmente-dipendenze-management-pack-microsoft-systemcenter-securereferenceoverride/

How to know if a Hardware is ready for Windows 2012 R2

Would like to try Windows 2012 R2?

Are you interested in Hyper-V?

Please before try it, check this site to be sure that your hardware is certified

http://windowsservercatalog.com

Furthermore, I think is also really useful the following site http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/

You can compare the CPU performance of several hardware vendors so you can decide for example  that is better to invest in a Cisco UCS B200 M3 (Intel Xeon E5-2665, 2.40 GHz) with 16 core insted of Cisco UCS B200 M3 (Intel Xeon E5-2667, 2.90 GHz) with 12 core.

Recently, I had an interesting experience: my customer bought Cisco UCS B200 M3 machines and the perfomance were incredible but even if the hardware was certified for Windows 2012, we had problem using the Guest Clustering feature.

The problem was that the UCS storage drivers were not optimized for supporting in the right way the guest Clustering. It was a bug recognized by Cisco that was very proactive to provide a workaround.

So I don’t want to blame Cisco for this bug (s**t happens!), I want only warn you to always ask your hardware vendor about knowed issues with the Windows features you want to enable (not only Hyper-V)

If you need more Resources:

General Availability of Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Today Microsoft announced the General Availability of Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager helps our customers by coordinating the replication of System Center managed clouds to a secondary location, monitoring availability and orchestrating recovery as needed.

Furthermore, because Hyper-V Recovery Manager is an Azure service, customers don’t have to go through a difficult installation/Configuration process. Launch a web browser, log into Azure and manage Replica. Furthermore, because it requires only a web browser it works on your desktop, laptop, tablet and phone.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager 2

Hyper-V Recovery Manager is between sites, not to Azure. Hyper-V Recovery Manager is
the orchestration engine, but no replication occurs to Azure. Azure simply manages the replication between sites as well as provides recovery plans.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager

For more information:

Use Windows Store in an Enterprise Environment

Windows 8.x introduces a new kind of applications named “Modern”

These kind of applications are packaged as .appx files and are published using the Microsoft Windows Store.

I created a personal FAQ based on my experience with enterprise customers that are interested in using Windows 8.

As you will see, the Windows Store actually is very “consumer” and not really “enterprise”

NOTE: The following informations are updated to Janurary 2014

Q: It’s mandatory to have a Microsoft Account to install and update the modern apps published in the Windows Store?

A: Yes, the only apps that you can update without having a Microsoft Account are the Windows 8 embedded Modern apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Video…)

Q: Can I create a large number of Microsoft Accounts using a script or some service provided by Microsoft

A: No

Q: Can I federate my enterprise directory with the Windows Store in order to avoid the need of a Microsoft Account and provide a single sign-on experience?

A: No

Q: If I develop my own Modern Application I need to publish it on the Windows Store?

A: No, you can distribute it using SCCM, Intune or other products due the fact that you own the .appx file

Q: Can I distribute a Modern Application that is placed in the public store to my users?

A: You can publish a “deep link” that is a sort of web link to the Windows Store page where the user can install the application. It’s not possible to retrieve the .appx file of a Modern App published in Windows Store and it’s not possible to push the installation of a Modern App published in the Windows Store

Q: Can I update a Modern Application that is placed in the public store to my users?

A: No, you can only publish the deep link to the updated version of the app but it’s the user that must open the store and click “update”

Q: It’s possible to buy a large number of Modern Apps from the Windows Store?

A: Actually it’s not possible to buy Modern Applications in bulk. Every single application needs to be bought by the user using a credit card associated with the Microsoft Account

Q: I bought a Modern Application from the Windows Store for a user that is leaving the company. Can I reassign the App?

A: No, the license is chained with the Microsoft Account and you cannot trasfert it

Q: Can I disable the access to the store?

A: Yes using Group policies

Q: Can I prevent users to install some kind of applications from the store?

A: Using App Locker you can prevent the installation of a given set/type of applications

System Center Universe 2014 Event in Europe

Today I found this interesting community event that takes place in Europe and focused on System Center and Microsoft Virtualization solutions.

http://www.systemcenteruniverse.ch/

Unfortunately, the last event was held in september 2013 so I will need to wait until September 2014 to attend it.

For an overview of this event, take a look at this blog:

http://www.thomasmaurer.ch/2014/01/system-center-universe-europe-2014-announced/