Automation–Orchestrating Hyper-V Replica with System Center for Planned Failover

A fellow Colleague from the US Team published this;

What is included?

  • 56 Example Runbooks!
    • The Runbooks target Windows Server, Windows Server Hyper-V, System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 Service Manager, and Exchange
  • 2 Specific Example Demo Scenarios
    • One with other System Center 2012 SP1 components (besides Orchestrator)
    • One that is simply Orchestrator + Hyper-V Replica
  • Dozens of other potential Demo Scenarios
    • The majority of the Runbooks included are “Sub-Routine” type Runbooks, which are generic atomic processes that cover a variety of Virtual Machine, Hyper-V and System Center 2012 SP1 tasks
  • Documentation/Demonstration
    • Release Notes / Pre-Requisites (.docx)
    • Runbook Listing (.xlsx)
    • Video Demonstration! (see below)
  • External References

Here’s the Demo. Smile


Hyper-V R2 and SLAT Hardware Requirements

With the latest release of Windows 2008 R2 and Hyper-V R2, there has been new capabilities such as RemoteFX and various updates to the Hyper-V capabilities. I won’t try to capture all those capabilities here. Its already been done on TechNet. Do a search.

I want to summarize the Hardware Requirements as quite a number of questions came to me last week about the hardware and the confusion behind SLAT. Lets look at the Basic Hardware Requirements for a typical Hyper-V Server (R2 or non R2)

Hyper-V RTM/R2 Hardware Requirements

  • Hyper-V Runs only 64 bit – Hence you must have a 64-bit (x64) processor from either Intel or AMD. 32 bit processor will not work.
  • Processor contains Hardware Virtualization – Intel VT or AMD-V in the Bios. (PS: After turning on this option, power off the server, and power on after a few seconds. POWER OFF, NOT REBOOT)
  • Data Execution Prevention – Intel calls it Execute Disable (XD), AMD calls it No Execute (NX). Both must be enabled in the BIOs.

Without the above, Hyper-V will not run.

Hyper-V R2 & SLAT Hardware Requirements

On top of the above, Hyper-V R2 comes with additional support for features like RemoteFX on Windows 7. For normal virtualization or virtualization without RemoteFX, SLAT hardware is not required, but HIGH RECOMMENDED.

The use of SLAT hardware significantly improves hardware performance across the board. These features are usually enabled in the BIOs. They should be enabled.

  • Intel refers to SLAT as Extended Page Tables (EPT)
  • AMD refers to this as Nested Page Tables (NPT) or Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI).

I think going forward, we should just get systems that can do SLAT.

*PS: Only Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 or later takes advantage of SLAT. Windows 2008 and Hyper-V Server 2008, will simply ignore SLAT hardware coz it doesn’t support them.

What will prevent Hyper-V from loading?

  • Intel VT-d (Disable it)
  • Trusted Execution (Disable it)

Hyper-V don’t use the above 2 settings. Enabling them will kill Hyper-V and prevent it from loading.

Visit TechNet’s Hyper-V TechCenter


Shutting down a Linux VM from SCVMM

If you run Hyper-V managed by SCVMM 2008R2, and you run a Linux VM running the new Linux Integration Services, you will not be able to shut down the VM from the user interface of SCVMM200R2.

However, you can shut it down with PowerShell with the following cmdlet;

Get-VMMServer -computername localhost

$VM = Get-VM | where { $_.Name -eq "VMNAME" }

Shutdown-VM -VM $VM


Microsoft embraces GPL v2

Yes, you show it right. Microsoft is releasing codes under GPL v2. This time, Microsoft releases Linux Drivers for Hyper-V as Open Source codes. Anyway, read on if you keen to know about the 20,000 lines of codes released.


NEWSFLASH: Microsoft contributes code to the Linux kernel under GPL v2.

Read it again – Microsoft contributes code to the Linux kernel under GPL v2!

Today is a day that will forever be remembered at Microsoft. Today, we have announced that the Linux Integration Components for Hyper-V have been released under a GPL v2 license, and the synthetic drivers have been submitted to the Linux kernel community for inclusion in upcoming versions of the Linux kernel.

Since Microsoft has contributed the drivers under GPLv2 directly to the Linux kernel, the drivers will be available to anyone running an appropriate Linux kernel. It is our hope that Linux distributions (such as CentOS, Ubuntu, and other Linux variants) will make them available to their customers through their releases and it is our intention to work with distributors who are interested in so doing.

Why are we doing this?

                Virtualization is fast becoming the de-facto model for IT organizations as it provides them with the tools for improved utilization, flexible deployment and management.  As organizations select their virtualization platforms we see close to 80% of VM’s running Windows. As a virtualization platform we want to provide our customers with the tools to optimize their deployments. By releasing the integration components as open source and integrating it directly into the Linux kernel, we facilitate customers in building out their virtual infrastructure using Hyper-V. It demonstrates the commitment Microsoft has towards making Hyper-V the virtualization platform of choice.


Where is the code being contributed?

The code is being integrated into the Linux kernel tree via the  Linux Driver Project which is a team of Linux developers that develops and maintains drivers in the Linux kernel. We worked very closely with Greg Kroah-Hartman to integrate our Linux IC’s into the Linux kernel.

Will we continue to enhance the Linux integration components?

Yes, Hank Janssen and Haiyang Zhang (from the Microsoft lab in Cambridge, MA) are listed as the maintainers of the Linux IC’s. We will continue to enhance the IC’s with features such as SMP support and additional integration services (such as shutdown, KVP – key value pair exchange,  etc). As these features are developed, we will contribute the code to the drivers that are part of the kernel.

Does this mean that additional distributions, such as CentOS, Ubuntu, and other distributions, are now supported?

Microsoft currently distributes IC’s for SLES 10 SP2. With the release of the RC2 version of the IC’s, we will also add support for SLES 11 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.2 and 5.3). These will be the only supported distributions by Microsoft. More information on SLES 11 and RHEL 5.2 / 5.3 support will be coming soon. J

However, now that the IC’s will be a part of the Linux kernel, other distributions that chose to pick these up will be compatible with Hyper-V. A customer will have to work with their Linux distribution vendor for support.

Where can I find out more?

· Microsoft PressPass:

· Channel 9 Video Link:


Intel Core i7 works like magic for Microsoft Hyper-V

Intel® Core™ i7 processor

I was thrown this question, “Microsoft Hyper-V does not work with Intel’s Core i7 Processors, is this true?”. Answer if NO, of course it is not true. Microsoft Hyper-V works fast on Intel’s Core i7 processors.

See Intel’s processor over page.

On the specifications page, you will see that it supports Intel-VT. The same series of processors also takes advantage of Extended Page Table (EPT) feature. EPT provides improved performance for workloads with large memory footprints, example SQL, Exchange etc.

With 8 processing threads in that socket, you can bet that it runs faster those virtualization workloads that you want to use it for.


Hyper-V Limits in the next release: R2

Hyper-V has been much “souped” up in terms of the amount of resources it could work with. Here’s a table that gives you more information. Do bear in mind that over time, Microsoft will increase the amount of resources a VM can work with. In the past year that Hyper-V got release, Microsoft has increase twice the amount of processor support.


Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise  Edition

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition

Logical Processor Support

32 LP

32 LP

32 LP

32 LP

Physical Memory Support

Up to 1 TB

Up to 32 GB

Up to 1 TB

Up to 1 TB

Cluster support: Live Migration





Max # of VMs

8 V-Procs per LP (i.e. 256 uni-proc VMs)

8 V-Procs per LP (i.e. 256 uni-proc VMs)

8 V-Procs per LP (i.e. 256 uni-proc VMs)

8 V-Procs per LP (i.e. 256 uni-proc VMs)

VM Licensing 

None included

1 Free Per License

4 Free Per License


There is a figure here that my require a little more explanation.

Under the row; “Max # of VMs” – 8 V Procs per Logical processor.

If you have VMs that are configured with only 1 CPU, then you can have a max of 256 VMs. 8 V Procs x 32 logical processors

if you have VMs that are configured with 4 CPUs, then you can have a max of 128 VMs. 8 V Procs x 32 logical processors / 4.

Logical processor

If you have 1 Dual Core CPU, that’s 2 logical processors

If you have 4 Dual Core CPU, that’s 8 logical processors

If you have 2 Quad Core CPU, that’s 8 logical processors


VMWare suffers the same problem has Hyper-V. 4 V Procs per VM. 🙂


Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions – Free

Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft Press is available as a FREE download.  


This 15MB E-Book is over 400 pages long, so it is quite comprehensive. It covers all current Microsoft Virtualization technologies  even the newest, such as the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), and VDI. Definitely a worthwhile addition to your library.


This guide will teach you about the benefits of the latest virtualization technologies and how to plan, implement, and manage virtual infrastructure solutions. The technologies covered include: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2009, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

The book also provides insight into the Core Infrastructure Optimization model, and how implementing virtualization technologies can help move a company further along toward the goal of building an efficient, reliable Dynamic IT infrastructure.

Here’s how to get it: Simply register at

NOTE: Once you’ve authenticated using your Passport/Live ID the only required fields for registration are:  name, country, role, and an email address. You’re taken directly to the download from there (you will need to temporarily allow Pop-Ups for the download window).


Determine if your hardware is Hyper-V capable

Over the past months, i have been quizzed numerous times what Hyper-V is about and is my hardware Hyper-V capable. I’ll usually give the same typical answer;

Processor must be 64bit, capable of Intel-VT or AMD-V, then you’re hyper-v capable.

However, many of us goes to Sim Lim Square to buy hardware, they’ll simply tell you Virtualization is a thing of the future. duh… In any case, any Intel Core 2 Duo, not Duo Core, are capable of running hyper-V.

Recently, a member of the community, Zine (nick), came across a tool that can tell if your hardware is Hyper-V capable. Check it out. Tool to determine if your hardware is able to run Hyper-V


Free e-Learning: Exploring Microsoft Virtualization Technologies

Collection 6333: Exploring Microsoft Virtualization Technologies


This collection of three 2-hour online clinics and an 1-hour online clinic provides IT Professionals experienced in Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 with the knowledge and skills to implement and manage virtualization technologies.
Topics covered in the clinic within the collection include:

  • Introduction to Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
  • Overview of Microsoft Application Virtualization
  • Overview of Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008
  • Overview of Hyper-V

Student Prerequisites

  • Experience in planning, implementing, and supporting Windows Server–based networks, operating systems and platform infrastructure. This may include experience in Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.
  • Knowledge of server virtualization and Hyper-V.

Activate This Collection

Subscription: 1 Year

I have read and accept the End User License Agreement.

This offer includes the following:

Clinic 5935: Introducing Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008

Clinic 6334: Exploring Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008

Clinic 6335: Exploring Microsoft Application Virtualization

Clinic 6336: Exploring Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008