PPC Professional Services’s Hyper-V Experts possess deep knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience owith Virtual Machine Manager. With our experience on Microsoft virtualization technologies, we can design a custom virtualization deployment strategy for you. The following information on Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 may be very helpful.
What’s New in Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
Support for new features of Windows Server 2008 R2Live Migration
Seen through the VMM console, this enables administrators to move a virtual machine between clustered hosts in a way that is completely transparent to the users connected to the virtual machine. This allows administrators greater flexibility in responding to planned downtime and provides higher machine availability. The basic requirements for Live Migration are that all hosts must be part of a Windows Server 2008 R2 failover cluster and host processors must be from the same manufacturer. Additionally all hosts in the cluster must have access to shared storage. No changes are required to existing virtual machines, network, or storage devices in moving from Quick Migration to Live Migration other than upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2 and VMM 2008 R2.
Hot addition/removal of Storage
With this capability, administrators can quickly and efficiently respond to changing storage requirements of virtual machines. This ability to hot-add additional storage eliminates the previous need to take the host down to upgrade storage thus increasing business continuity for end users and reducing complexity for administrators. Additionally it allows administrators to confidently deploy mission critical applications (in which up-time is of paramount importance) that may have rapidly changing storage requirements such as web, database or other business applications.
New optimized networking technologies
VMM 2008 R2 supports two new networking technologies – Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) and TCP Chimney – providing increased network performance while demanding less CPU burden. NICs that support VMQ, create a unique virtual network queue for each virtual machine on a host that can pass network packets directly from the hypervisor to the virtual machine. This speeds throughput as it bypasses much of the processing normally required by the virtualization stack. With TCP Chimney, TCP/IP traffic can be offloaded to a physical NIC on the host computer reducing CPU load and improving network performance.
Enhanced storage and cluster support
Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV)Operations Manager integration with Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO)
Provides a single, consistent storage space that allows hosts in a cluster to concurrently access virtual machine files on a single shared logical unit number (LUN). CSV eliminates the previous one virtual machine per LUN restriction and coordinates the use of storage with much greater efficiency and higher performance. CSV enables the Live Migration of virtual machines without impacting other virtual machines sharing the same LUN. Enabling CSV on failover clusters is straightforward; many storage configuration complexities prior to CSV have now been eliminated.
SAN migration into and out of clustered hosts
This allows virtual machines to migrate into and out of clusters using a SAN transfer, which saves the time required for copying the virtual machine file over the network. Another time and labor saving feature of VMM 2008 R2 is its ability to automatically migrate VMs in and out of clustered hosts using SAN transfers. Unlike before, VMM 2008 R2 automatically configures the cluster nodes to recognize new VMs coming in and exiting VMs migrating off, saving administrators the additional burden of manual modification.
Expanded Support for iSCSI SANs
Previously, only one LUN could be bound to a single iSCSI target whereas now – with support now built into VMM 2008 R2 – multiple LUNS can be mapped to a single iSCSI target. This provides broader industry support for iSCSI SANs allowing customers more flexibility in choosing storage providers and iSCSI SAN options. With expanded support now covering the majority of available iSCSI SANs, VMM 2008 R2 enables administrators to choose from a much wider range of options when selecting a new SAN solution. For those with SAN infrastructure in place, VMM 2008 R2 features greater SAN compatibility enabling administrators to leverage their storage investments.
Maintenance Mode: Streamlined process for managing host upgrades
Allows administrators to apply updates or perform maintenance on a host server by safely evacuating all virtual machines to other hosts on a cluster. Maintenance mode can be configured to use Live Migration to move the virtual machines or can put the workloads into a saved state to be safely reactivated when maintenance or upgrades are complete. Maintenance mode is enabled for all supported hypervisor platforms on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Performance and Resource Optimization—known simply as PRO—is a new feature in Virtual Machine Manager 2008 that supports workload and application-aware resource optimization within a virtualized environment. Based on performance and health data provided by PRO-enabled management packs in System Center Operations Manager 2007, PRO can automatically or manually implement PRO tips, recommendations for minimizing downtime and accelerating time to resolution. We can help you learn more about PRO MOM integration.
Other Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 enhancements
Support of disjoint domains
Reduces the complexity of reconciling host servers with differing domain names in Active Directory and DNS. To configure VMM 2008 previously, administrators would have to manually reconcile host server names from disjoint domains that would appear differently in Active Directory (AD) and Domain Name Service (DNS) and cause authentication failure. With VMM 2008 R2, this process is automated by the creation of a custom Service Principal Name (SPN) in both AD and DNS. This eases management oversight for administrators and speeds along a successful authentication process.
Use of defined port groups with VMware Virtual Center
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 support for VMware is now provided. On installation, VMM 2008 R2 will present available port groups for VMM’s use with VMware Virtual Center thus allowing administrators to maintain control over which port groups are used. During its initial configuration with VMware Virtual Center, VMM 2008 R2 enables administrators to select which port groups the console will use. Previously, this process was automated and port groups were automatically configured. Now, VMM 2008 R2 enables administrators to maintain control in selecting the preferred port groups for VMM’s use. This enables customized settings for VMM 2008 R2 that accommodates the administrator’s chosen configuration and minimizes any conflicts or disruption resulting from VMM’s introduction.
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