Follow Up: MS Quick Migration V’s VMware Vmotion

Recently there was an article published on the Microsoft Virtualization Blog which compared Hyper-V’s High Availability/Quick Migration capabilities to VMware’s VMotion. In the second article the writer responds on a large amount of reactions he had regarding VMotion being superior:

After my last blog I received almost two dozen email telling me that VMotion was far superior for unplanned host downtime and that it was a much better HA solution because it could live migrate virtual machines. I’ve heard this fallacy espoused for many years and, folks, this simply isn’t the case.

In the case of unplanned downtime, VMotion can’t live migrate because there is no warning. Instead you must have VMware HA configured and the best it can do is restart the affected virtual machines on other nodes which is the same as what is provided with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Failover Clustering.

I can imagine why people reacted, in the first post the writer only mentioned VMotion. For unplanned downtime VMware doesn’t use VMotion because when it’s unplanned the VM’s get cutoff and will be restarted on another host with the use of HA(VMware High Availability). There’s no need for a migration when a VM is powered off.

Indeed Microsoft can do the same with the use of Clustering. But can you live migrate virtual machines when a server needs maintenance? No, at this moment that’s not possible. In other words, you will have to wait for a suitable moment… planned downtime, probably after business hours. But in a 24×7 environment will there ever be a suitable moment? Even when your business isn’t 24×7, if there’s a possible hardware failure would you want to wait? But when you have a 8:1 consolidation ratio you probably will not be the most popular support engineer when “quick migrating” the file server or the mail server especially when these VM’s have a lot of RAM assigned.

Besides that, with the upcoming new VMware product, Continous Availability, even unplanned downtime will not crash your VM. CA will constantly mirror your VM to another host, like a continous VMotion I guess, and when the active host fails the standby host will become active. In other words, no unplanned downtime anymore.

Enable/Disable TS Logins

Ive just come across a handy utility to quickly enable or disable session logins on multiple servers – TSLogins.

TSLOGINS is a command-line tool to set the status of remote logins on Citrix or Terminal Server servers. This utility was written to replace the command CHANGE LOGON currently found in the MS Windows Operating System. This utility offers the ability to enable or disable remote sessions to a single server or host of servers located in a domain, with one command.

TSLOGINS will only function when executed by a user with ADMIN rights.

This utility is FREEWARE and was written by Warren Simondson of Ctrl-Alt-Del IT Consultancy, Australia. www.ctrl-alt-del.com.au

Usage:
TSLOGINS [/QUERY] [ /ON /OFF ] [/SERVER:servername] [/?]

/ON Enable remote user login from sessions.
/OFF Disable remote user login from sessions.
/SERVER:servername [Optional] Specifies the Terminal server to apply
the login status setting. (default is current).
/SERVER:* [Optional] Specifies ALL Terminal servers to apply
the login status setting (Applies to current Domain).
/QUERY Query the status of remote logins.
/? This help information.

TSLOGINS with no parameters displays this help information.

E.G. TSLOGINS /ON
This command will enable remote logins on the current TS or Citrix Server.

E.G. TSLOGINS /OFF
This command will disable remote logins on the current TS or Citrix Server.
Use QUSER.EXE to locate Session ID.

E.G. TSLOGINS /SERVER:MyServer /ON
This command will enable remote logins on the MyServer Server.

E.G. TSLOGINS /QUERY /SERVER:MyServer
This command will query the remote login status on the MyServer Server.

E.G. TSLOGINS /OFF /SERVER:*
This command will disable remote logins on all Citrix Servers and Terminal Servers in the current domain.

For more information and to download the above utility please visit: http://www.ctrl-alt-del.com.au/CAD_TSUtils.htm.

Windows Server 2008 – All you need to know in only an hour

You may be interested in these free online walkthrough’s for 2008

In this online briefing you will learn about the key new features within Windows Server 2008, including:

  • Technology Investments in Windows Server 2008 including virtualisation, web and security.
  • Server Manager Roles
  • Next Generation TCP/IP Stack
  • Security
  • Windows Server CORE
  • Backing Up
  • Network Access Protection
  • Windows Deployment Services
  • Failover Clustering
  • New Active Directory Features
  • IIS 7.0
  • SharePoint Services
  • Terminal Services
  • About Microsoft Official Distance Learning (MODL) and our courses.

SCOM Tools

Below are a list of tools that all SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) Admins should have:

3rd Party Tools

  • Proxy Settings – Shows all servers and their ‘Act as Proxy Agent’ setting.
  • MP2XMLDumper – Shows what a Management Pack exported to XML looks like.
  • Proxycfg – Clive Eastwood (MSFT) has writen a neat command line utility to configure/view agent proxying.
  • AgentMM – Clive Eastwood (MSFT) has writen this command line tool to place OpsMgr agents into Maintenance mode

Microsoft Tools

  • Sample Vista Gadget – A Vista Gadget that enables you to view the active alerts and health states for a specified set of objects from a computer running Windows Vista.
  • Operations Manager Inventory – A command-line utility that captures the configuration of your Operations Manager 2007 Management Servers and stores it in a .cab file that can be sent to Microsoft support to assist in problem analysis.
  • Operations Manager Cleanup Tool – A command-line utility that enables you to remove any or all of the components of Operations Manager from a local computer in cases where the normal method of uninstallation has failed.
  • AEM Validation – A command line utility that will allow you to perform end-to-end validation of Agent-less Exception Monitoring to verify that AEM is properly configured and operational.
  • AEM Management Pack – A Management Pack that enables you to identify generic errors sent by Windows Error Reporting (WER) clients to Management Servers that are AEM-enabled. Without this mapping function these errors appear in Operations Manager as “unknown application” and “unknown version”.
  • Active Directory Integration Sample Script – A sample script that enables you to extract a list of computer names from your custom SQL Server database and add them to an Active Directory security group. The security group can then be referenced in the Agent Assignment and Failover Wizard to automate agent assignments to Management Servers.
  • Effective Configuration Viewer – A tool that displays the set of rules and monitors that are running on a computer, distributed application, or any other managed entity after any configured overrides have been applied.
  • Action Account Tool – A PowerShell script that allows you to set the action account on groups of computers.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 4.1 Service Pack 5

This service pack has sneaked in under the radar,
Supposedly the true “supported” version od BES for Exchange 2007 SP1 (although the release notes don’t make any reference of it!)

File name: besx_upgrader_4.1.5.exe
File size: 308 MB
Date posted: 18-April-2008

https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads/browseSoftware.do;jsessionid=De48E0+7nNwE85dZUF1qjA**

Info can be found here
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/server/new_v4-1_sp5.jsp

highlights in the release notes are :

  • Research In Motion (RIM) plans to discontinue support for the “You were BCC’d” portion of messages as of BlackBerryEnterprise Server Version 5.0 (SDR 79671).
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 4.1 SP5 is not certified for use in Japanese environments.
  • RIM certifies that the BlackBerry Enterprise Server operates on VMware® ESX Server Version 3.0.1. As with anydeployment of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, consider taking baseline measurements of performance after youinstall the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and then add users in stages to the server. In a VMware environment, othervirtual machines might be running on that server, which might impact how many users the BlackBerry EnterpriseServer can support. See the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 4.1 Performance Benchmarking Guide for moreinformation about performance measurements.
  • RIM has deemphasized support for BlackBerry® Instant Messaging for Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server2005 for Windows® Messenger users. RIM does not plan to release new versions of the BlackBerry Instant MessagingConnector and enterprise instant messaging application for Windows Messenger. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version4.1 SP5 and later maintenance releases will continue to include the connector that is compatible with the last release ofthe device client only (version 1.1.0.28). The connector will not be included in BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 5.0or later.

The Feature and Technical Overview says:

  • The BlackBerry Enterprise Server now supports the Microsoft SQL Server 2005(64-bit) database management system.

Netvibes, Cant live without it.

Just wanted to do a quick blog on Netvibes I was put onto it by a friend of mine (SuperDave) and have not stopped using it as my homepage since, its the first thing I do when I use a new PC or rebuild my own, set my homepage !

Once you’ve signed up, which only requires an email address and a password, Netvibes provides content tailored for the country you live in – although you can change this if you wish. There’s certainly no shortage of items for you to play around with, most of which have been created by the Netvibes community. There are currently over 600 modules to choose from, including clocks, calendars, puzzles, games, photos and so on. The quality is variable, but there are loads of great widgets to add to your pages.

It’s very easy to customise each Component. All you have to do is move your cursor over a window and the option to edit it will appear. You can change the title bar colour and various other details depending on the module itself.

In addition to modules, Netvibes does a good job of handling news feeds. There are over 8,500 RSS/Atom feeds submitted by users that you can add to your page. If you prefer you can select the most popular choices from the Feed Directory or enter the web address of a particular feed location. These are also customisable. You can set how many headlines to view at once, choose whether to have a compact or more spacious display and also decide if links should open on the source page or directly in Netvibes. Hovering your cursor over any headline instantly generates a preview of it in a littte floating window.

As well as modules and feeds, there are over 680 podcasts, 148 events and 2,602 tabs to add. The search facility which lets you find or filter content on your page is another excellent inclusion.

I have mine setup with tabs for each technology I am interested in and add the rss feeds to the pages as I find them, this enables you to quickly view new articles and keep yourself up to date.

Photographer or Terrorist?

Not in the slightest bit techie, but in the UK we’ve been on reasonably high alert for the last few years against the threat of terrorism.

Recently the Metropolitan Police in London have released a series of posters; one of them alerts us to the dangers of “odd” people taking photos – http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/magazine_enl_1208430127/img/1.jpg

It’s an idea with some merit, although it has had an unfortunate side effect – keen amateur photographers are being relieved of their cameras by well meaning police, park wardens and security guards who spot them taking photos. Whilst taking photos of government buildings is possibly not to be recommended at the present time, taking pictures of people in a park is a different matter entirely! Thankfully neither are actually illegal at the moment, but who knows what our wonderful government might do in the future….

More here – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7351252.stm

Windows Server 2008 Step By Step

Microsoft have released a number of Step By Step guides on how to configure many of the new features within Windows Server 2008 – from server core to clustering, there’s a wealth of information. Shame you can’t download them all at once, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Available here – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=518d870c-fa3e-4f6a-97f5-acaf31de6dce&displaylang=en#filelist

Portable Server Environments


A friend of mine once had the idea that he could create a portable server environment, almost like domino’s pizza where he would turn up at your office with the thin (HP) or thick (Dell) base and add the toppings of your choice, a little bit of MS, a little bit of VMware and a sprinkle of Linux.

This would all be enclosed in a container and be a self sufficient server room that you plug in and go, the following cabinets reminded me of him…..

Portable Server Environments

In all seriousness I think these are great for the small companies.

Living in software defined reality