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CTP of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Documentation

Today while I found that Microsoft VMM team published new interesting document “CTP of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Documentation”

This download provides technical documentation for the new VMM features in the community technology preview (CTP) of System Center 2012 SP1.

This guide provides a step-by-step walkthrough that enables you to test the new features of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in the community technology preview (CTP) of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This CTP is designed to be used with Windows Server® "8" Beta and to take advantage of new functionality provided by Windows Server "8" Beta.

What’s New in System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager
Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in the community technology preview (CTP) of System Center 2012 SP1 provides the following new features:
•    Network virtualization
•    VHDX support
•    Support for file shares that use the Server Message Block (SMB) 2.2 protocol
•    Live migration enhancements

Network Virtualization
VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 provides support for the network virtualization capabilities available in Windows Server "8" Beta.
Network virtualization provides the ability to run multiple virtual network infrastructures, potentially with overlapping IP addresses, on the same physical network. With network virtualization, each virtual network infrastructure operates as if it is the only one running on the shared network infrastructure. This will allow two different business groups using VMM to use the same IP addressing scheme without conflict. In addition, network virtualization provides isolation, so that only those virtual machines on a specific virtual network infrastructure can communicate with each other.

Network virtualization in Windows Server "8" Beta is designed to remove the constraints of VLAN and hierarchical IP address assignment for virtual machine provisioning. This enables flexibility in virtual machine placement, because the virtual machine can keep its IP address regardless of which host it is placed on. Placement is not necessarily limited by physical IP subnet hierarchies or VLAN configurations.
To virtualize the network in Windows Server "8" Beta, each virtual machine is assigned two IP addresses:

•    A customer address, which is visible to the virtual machine and is used by customers to communicate with the virtual machine.
•    A provider address, which is used by the Hyper-V computer that is hosting the virtual machine, but is not visible to the virtual machine.

VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 creates the necessary IP address mappings for virtual machines to take advantage of the network virtualization capabilities in Windows Server "8" Beta. VMM uses an IP address pool associated with a logical network to assign provider addresses and uses an IP address pool associated with a VM network to assign customer addresses. VM networks are a new addition to VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1.

VHDX Support
VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 supports the new version of the virtual hard disk (VHD) format that is introduced in Windows Server "8" Beta. This new format is referred to as VHDX. VHDX has a much larger storage capacity (up to 64 TB) than the older VHD format. It also provides data corruption protection during power failures. Additionally, it offers improved alignment of the virtual hard disk format to work well on large-sector physical disks.
By default, VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 uses the VHDX format when you create a new virtual machine with a blank virtual hard disk. The VMM library automatically indexes .vhdx files. In addition to the small and large blank .vhd files that were available in previous versions of VMM, the VMM library in System Center 2012 SP1 also contains both a small (16 GB) and large (60 GB) blank .vhdx file.
 

SMB 2.2 File Shares
VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 adds support for designating network file shares on Windows Server "8" Beta computers as the storage location for virtual machine files, such as configuration, virtual hard disk (.vhd/.vhdx) files and checkpoints. This functionality leverages the new 2.2 version of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol that is introduced in Windows Server "8" Beta.
SMB 2.2 file shares provide the following benefits when used with VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1:
•    Hyper-V over SMB supports file servers and storage at a reduced cost compared to traditional storage area networks (SANs).
•    If you use SMB 2.2 file shares as the storage location for virtual machine files, you can live migrate running virtual machines between two stand-alone Hyper-V hosts or between two stand-alone Hyper-V host clusters. Because the storage location is a shared location that is available from both source and destination hosts, only the virtual machine state must transfer between hosts.

You can create SMB 2.2 file shares on both stand-alone Windows Server "8" Beta file servers and on clustered Windows Server "8" Beta file servers. In this step-by-step guide, only SMB 2.2 file shares on a stand-alone file server are used to demonstrate the concepts. If you use a stand-alone file server, you can designate an SMB 2.2 file share as the virtual machine storage location on a Windows Server "8" Beta Hyper-V host cluster. However, this is not a highly-available solution.
 

Live Migration Enhancements
VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 includes several live migration enhancements that enable the migration of a running virtual machine with no downtime. The following table summarizes the live migration options that are available.

Transfer Type

Description

Live

During live migration, only the virtual machine state is transferred to the destination server.

VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 supports the following new live migration options:

·    Live migration between two stand-alone Windows Server "8" Beta Hyper-V hosts.

·    Live migration between two Windows Server "8" Beta Hyper-V host clusters.

Note

This includes both highly available virtual machines and non-highly available virtual machines that are running on a cluster node.

To live migrate a virtual machine between two stand-alone hosts or two separate host clusters, the virtual machine (including virtual hard disks, checkpoints, and configuration files) must reside on an SMB 2.2 file share that is accessible from both the source and destination stand-alone hosts or host clusters.

Note

VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 also supports the live migration of a highly available virtual machine between two nodes in the same host cluster. Support for this exists in System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager, when the virtual machine resides on available storage or on a cluster shared volume (CSV). In System Center 2012 SP1, the virtual machine can also reside on an SMB 2.2 file share.

Live (VSM)

Live virtual machine and storage migration (live VSM) is new in System Center 2012 SP1. During live VSM, both the virtual machine state and the virtual machine storage are transferred. For the live VSM option to be available, the virtual machine must reside on storage that is not visible to the destination host.

VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 supports the following:

·    Live VSM between two stand-alone Windows Server "8" Beta Hyper-V hosts. This transfer can occur between local disks or SMB 2.2 file shares.

·    Live VSM between two Windows Server "8" Beta Hyper-V host clusters. The virtual machine can be transferred to either a CSV or an SMB 2.2 file share on the destination host cluster.

Live Storage

Live storage migration is new in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1. During live storage migration, only the virtual machine storage is transferred.

VMM in the CTP release of System Center 2012 SP1 supports the following:

·    Live storage migration within the same Windows Server "8" Beta stand-alone host. Storage can be transferred between two SMB 2.2 file share, between an SMB 2.2 file share and a local disk, or between two local disk locations.

·    Live storage migration on a cluster node from a CSV or SMB 2.2 file share to a different CSV or SMB 2.2 file share that is accessible from the cluster node.

Go and check the step-by-step guide that walks you through the new Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) features in the CTP of System Center 2012 SP1.

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