Time Synchronization for Virtualized DCs

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As usual a good conversation spurred on ActiveDir on a much discussed scenario of virtualizing your DCs while be varied of the known pitfalls. While virtualized DCs are fully supported on either competing virtualization solution by Microsoft, one known subject I would like to highlight here is the proper time synchronization. You must make sure that your PDCe gets its time from an external time source and other DCs follow the PDCe. All DCs (including PDCe) must not sync their time with the virtualization host, whether its VMware ESX or that of Hyper-V. It was discussed how by default the VMware’s VM settting does not have the time synchronization enabled by default, and my brief look at the Hyper-V’s VM suggested that it is. In any case, you must make sure that setting is disabled, thus VM does sync its time with its host.

VMware time setting from the VMware tools within the VM:

VMwareTS

Or under the VM settings from VIC :

VMwareTS2

Hyper-V setting from the VM settings :

HyperV-TS

A great resource to refer to, to learn how to configure an authoritative time source for your DCs – see this KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

Free e-book on Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft

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You can get a free e-book in PDF format authored by Mitch Tulloch from Microsoft. This book covers Hyper-V, App-V, VDI and SCVMM 2008. Click below to register and download your copy.

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Also, in this month’s issue of Technet magazine, there is an article on SCVMM R2 RC by Paul Schnackenburg. Its definitely a good read as it explains much awaited Hyper-V’s virtualization features such as Live/Quick Migration of VMs between hosts, self-service portal, new PowerShell VMM-specific cmdlets and much more.

You can read it here.

Hyper-V as a guest VM will not run guest VMs within

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As expected, and just like its counterpart you can’t run guest OS, (child partitions) within Hyper-V when Hyper-V itself is installed as a guest VM. Of course there are several tweaks out there that let you modify VMkernel and supposedly let you run guest VMs in ESX environment. I have yet to come across one that does the trick for Hyper-V. Perhaps its not possible due to some substantial differences how hypervisor of Hyper-V is different than hypervisor of ESX(i) that of VMware. Greg Sheilds recently wrote in length regarding correctly explaining the difference between two products.

Rich Brambley on the other hand installed Hyper-V R2 under VMware Workstation but didn’t proceed to install VM as a guest on it, which in my opinion was against the whole purpose. You can’t really begin to play around with its feature set until you have a hand full of workloads running on it.

I gave it a spin, and I came across the “No, No, you can’t do this” issue. I have Hyper-V R2 installed as a guest on VMware Workstation 6.5.2. As posted in last post, Hyper-V is being managed via Windows Server 2008’s Hyper-V Management feature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hyper-V is just like a server core, with Hypervisor added

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Ever since Microsoft joined VMware in handing out their introductory type-1 hypervisor solutions (without management software) out for FREE, there is a fair share of confusion in IT community regarding the standalone Hyper-V. Hyper-V is a standalone product that will run on a bare-metal box and will need to be managed via Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Management (feature). Hyper-V is built on Windows Server 2008 Server Core and Windows Admins will find it easy to adjust to managing it. Especially those who have had experience with Server Core.

I wrote a few posts earlier on managing Server Core, regarding the initial configuration, opening the needed ports thru firewall, network configuration etc. You will find that there is another layer of managment window on top of that CLI window you are used to seeing in Server Core. That window is there for you to manage the Hyper-V.

As you log in to Hyper-V both windows the CLI and Hyper-V Configuration pop up, with first one in the background. On Hyper-V configuration window, there is 16 options (sub-menu) that are pretty self explanatory and allow you to setup initial configurations such as adding the server to domain, configuring NIC, enabling RDP, and remote management (WinRM) and so forth.

Remember that with the substantial feedback from IT pros, this new version of Server Core (that Hyper-V is built upon) now has the limited .NET layer added which will make the server management easier but as expected it adds to its size to its previous versions. This is of course only part of recently released Hyper-V R2.

Here are some screenshots of Hyper-V R2.