Archive for the 'Virtual Server' Category

SCVMM and P2V Adventures

Where I work, we have been using Microsoft Virtualization since Virtual Server was in Beta.  Of course, we don’t necessarily use all of the functions and features of all the software we have, but one feature that I have used a good bit is the “Convert physical server” action in System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  Until recently, I have used this with great success.  We run IBM xSeries servers and I have converted something like 50 of them to virtual machines running on Hyper-V over the past several years. 

In late 2007, we bought our first IBM Blade Center (which I am very happy with) and with that move we also decided to do “boot from SAN” for all of our blades.  Just seemed to make sense that we wouldn’t put moving parts in a device that was designed to run so well without moving parts. 

At the time, we were implementing a new ERP system and several “hanger on” type applications, and Hyper-V (virtualization in general) wasn’t something that was supported by a lot of the software we were deploying.  So we have a lot of powerful blade servers, running a lot of low use applications.  I have managed to eradicate several of those wasteful installations, but there are a set that I am only now getting buy-in to virtualize. 

And today’s adventure begins with a Windows Server 2003 SP2 machine installed Boot from SAN on an IBM HS21-XM Blade server.

First attempt:

1.  Convert physical server

2.  Virtual machine name

3.  Scan System

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Looks good..

4. Conversion options

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we can try the defaults..

5.  Specify the processor and memory… 

6.  Select the host, path, network, start options, etc..

7.  The job starts, the machine gets copied over, and …

That try resulted in a blue screen loop.. 

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Ok… time to try the Offline conversion:

1. Proceed as above but select the Offline conversion option at step 4.

2.  hmm..  conversion warnings… must correct to proceed..

Warning (13246)
No compatible drivers were identified for the device: Broadcom BCM5708S NetXtreme II GigE (NDIS VBD Client). The offline physical-to-virtual conversion requires a driver for this device.

Device Type: network adapter
Device Description: Broadcom BCM5708S NetXtreme II GigE (NDIS VBD Client)
Device Manufacturer: Broadcom Corporation
Hardware IDs (listed in order of preference):
B06BDRV\L2ND&PCI_16AC14E4&SUBSYS_03271014&REV_12

Compatible IDs (listed in order of preference):
B06BDRV\L2ND&PCI_16AC14E4&SUBSYS_03271014
B06BDRV\L2ND&PCI_16AC14E4
B06BDRV\L2ND

Recommended Action
Create a new folder under C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2\Driver Import on the Virtual Machine Manager server and then copy the necessary 32-bit Windows Vista driver package files for this device to the new folder. The driver package files include the driver (.sys) and installation (.inf and .cat) files. Check the device manufacturer’s website for the necessary drivers.

We don’t really need to do that right…

Had some trouble with that part…  finally figured out that the drivers that need to be placed in that folder are the “RIS” drivers. 

Try number 3 (or 30, I lost count)…

1. Proceed as try number 2, ignore warning because we did put the driver in there, and

Blue screen loop…

Hmm… maybe this is just not meant to be.  Did some more searching and found this article:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/robertvi/archive/2009/10/07/after-installing-hyper-v-integration-services-on-the-next-reboot-the-vm-displays-bsod-0x0000007b.aspx 

Basically, there are some people seeing the exact same blue screen that I was seeing, except this was after the install of updated integration components.  But I wasn’t installing integration components yet… or was I?

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Ok so maybe it was getting that far and just “blowing up” after the install of the components.  Good thing about this being a P2V, I can go back to the source machine pretty easy and check the registry:

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Looks like we may have an answer here.  Change the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Wdf01000\Group entry to be WdfLoadGroup instead of base. 

It is my guess, that this would have worked even with the online conversion option.

Windows Server Virtualization Calculator

 I came across Ben Armstrong’s Blog today while doing a little searching.  He has some good stuff about Microsoft Virtual Server on there and one of the things he posted on has to do with a calculator to figure out how to configure your Virtual environment.  It doesn’t take much to figure out that Data Center Edition may actually be worth paying for when you use multi-core processors and pack a lot of VMs on one host.

Windows Server Virtualization Calculator

I do not know how I missed this one, but this is a very cool tool.  The Windows Server Virtualization Calculator allows you to specify how many virtual machines you will be running, on a given set of hardware, and it will show you all of your licensing options for buying Windows Server.  This way you can quickly determine what the best option is for your environment.

Virtual PC Guy’s WebLog : Windows Server Virtualization Calculator

Virtual Machine Remote Control Client

I have been using Microsoft Virtual Server since it was first released.  I have also used Virtual PC a good bit.  (I like VPC 2007 on Vista 64bit hardware.)  I have only ever used the web interface to work with MSVS.  I just today decided to try the VMRC Client.

Overview

VMRCplus is a tool for both configuration management of Virtual Server and remote control of virtual machines. It allows for local and remote management of Virtual Server and supports simultaneous management of up to 32 Virtual Server hosts.
Remote control sessions of virtual machines are grouped in a single window using Tab pages. The interface enables sorting virtual machines based on various properties like name, status and description. Multi-select of virtual machines enable you to perform actions to change their status or open remote control sessions all at once.
VMRCplus is a Windows application and does not require IIS to manage Virtual Server.

Download details: Virtual Machine Remote Control Client Plus (VMRCplus)

I think I like it.  if nothing else for the fact that it gives you a quick rundown of the numbers, and an easy way to connect to the various machines.  I like the client console having “tabs” for each machine that you are connected to.  makes it easy to track multiple machines without having to go back to the master status page of the web interface.