Windows Azure offers an internet-scale hosting environment built on geographically distributed data centers. This hosting environment provides a runtime execution environment for managed code. A Windows Azure compute service is built from one or more roles. A role defines a component that may run in the execution environment; within Windows Azure, a service may run one or more instances of a role. A service may be comprised of one or more types of roles, and may include multiple roles of each type.
Windows Azure supports three types of roles: A Web role-customized for web application programming and supported by IIS 7. These Web roles run IIS7. A Worker role is used for generalized development, and may perform background processing for a web role. A Virtual Machine (VM) role that runs an image—a virtual hard disk (VHD)—of a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine. This VHD is created using an on-premises Windows Server machine, then uploaded to Windows Azure. Once it’s stored in the cloud, the VHD can be loaded on demand into a VM role and executed. Customers can configure and maintain the OS and use Windows Services, scheduled tasks etc. in the VM role.
Web and Worker Role Enhancements:
At PDC 10, we announced the following Web and Worker role enhancements: Development of more complete applications using Windows Azure will soon be possible with the introduction of Elevated Privileges and Full IIS . The new Elevated Privileges functionality for the Web and Worker role will provide developers with greater flexibility and control in developing, deploying and running cloud applications. The Web role will also include Full IIS functionality, which enables multiple IIS sites per Web role and the ability to install IIS modules. Windows Azure will also provide Remote Desktop functionality, which enables customers to connect to a running instance of their application or service in order to monitor activity and troubleshoot common problems.
The VM role functionality is being introduced to make the process of migrating existing Windows Server applications to Windows Azure easier and faster. This is especially true for the migration of Windows Server applications that have long, non-scriptable or fragile installation steps. While the VM role offers additional control and flexibility, the Windows Azure Web and Worker roles offer additional benefits over the VM role. Developers focus primarily on their application, and not the underlying operating system. In particular, Visual Studio is optimized for creating, testing, and deploying Web and worker roles – all in a matter of minutes. Also, because developers work at a higher level of abstraction with Web and worker roles, Windows Azure can automatically update the underlying operating system.
VM Role or Elevated Privileges:
The VM role and elevated privileges functionality removes roadblocks that today prevent developers from having full control over their application environment. For small changes like configuring IIS or installing an MSI we recommend using the elevated privilege admin access feature. This approach is best suited for small changes and enables the developer to retain automated service management at the Guest OS and the application level. When the customizations are large in number or require changes that cannot be automated, we recommend using the VM role instead. When developers use the VM role, they retain most benefits of automated service management (load balancing and failover) with the exception of Guest OS patching.
If you would like to be notified when these Windows Azure features are available, and when we’re accepting registrations for the VM role and Extra Small instance Beta as well as the Windows Azure Connect CTP, please click here . For more information about designing and developing roles, see Building Windows Azure Services.
Compute Instance Sizes:
Developers have the ability to choose the size of VMs to run their application based on the applications resource requirements. Windows Azure compute instances come in five unique sizes to enable complex applications and workloads. We are introducing the Extra Small Windows Azure instance to make the process of development, testing and trial easier for enterprise developers. The Extra Small instance will also make Windows Azure more affordable for developers interested in running smaller applications on the platform.
Quote for today “A lot of people have head in Cloud; but we need also to have our feet on the ground”
hvredevoort wrote a very interesting post about VMM VNext and I through it is important to be shared.
During the MMS2010 keynote of Bob Muglia, Edwin Yuen showed a glimpse of SCVMM vNext. The short demo presented a very interesting view ahead of what a complete virtual management solution looks like.
Next to the familiar categories like Hosts, Virtual Machines, Library, Jobs and Administration a few new categories were visible: Datacenter, Network and Storage. Apparently these will be the new building blocks in the deployment of virtual machines and most likely also Hyper-V hosts. Along with Server App-V to deploy server apps to running virtual servers. By means of a model/template objects were dragged and dropped to define a new service/server combination.
Also the concept of the private cloud and the public cloud is translated in the user interface of SCVMM vNext. In the top lefthand corner, we can now see a new light blue (azure?) container with several private clouds as well as a hosted cloud. As I wrote earlier, we can expect to move servers and services between the two clouds.
Building blocks in the SCVMM vNext Library for creating servers
SCVMM vNext will support Virtual Sever, Hyper-V R1, Hyper-V R2, Xen and VMware. By the time the product is ready it will probably also support the latest incarnation of Hyper-V, if it still listens to that name in 2011/2012. For a System Center roadmap see my previous blog.
Factor of 10 reduction cost for hardware
Factor of 10 greater speeding up application delivery
Factor of 10 reduction in cost
This translates to faster time to market for solutions, and a great enabler for the business.
Part of the cost savings is done by means of scale of buying and using server hardware. As I wrote in my blog http://hyper-v.nu/blogs/hans/?p=159, the new server form factor for the cloud is the container. A picture was shown of how Microsoft gets its servers delivered: by the thousands and ready-to-go on delivery.
Here are some shots of the new SCVMM vNext GUI:
Source: Hyper-V notes from the field
In a large SCVMM environment we noticed that the SCVMM Service (vmmservice.exe) allocates lots of memory (>4GB). You may notice that you are unable to create new console sessions or existing sessions lose their connection when all available memory is used. This is not a leak as the memory is freed over time.
The reason for this allocations was the large number of jobs that had run in the past. By default SCVMM keeps the last 90 days in the Database and the Console shows this in the Jobs pane. In the title area you can see the number of jobs in brackets. In the customer case we had almost 10.000 jobs.
The problem can be solved by setting a shorter history with the following registry key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\settings\sql
DWORD Value: TaskGC
Enter the history length in days. (e.g. 7)
SCVMM starts a maintenance procedure with this number of days every 20h. You may not see a complete reduction immediately, as the maintenance procedure limits itself in the number of objects it deletes in one run. So you may need to monitor this for some days.
AMD Readies Windows 7-Friendly Chipset:
By Andy Patrizio
AMD will begin shipping its newest chipset, the 785G, to OEM partners today. The 785G is the foundation chipset for AMD’s Windows 7 offerings, and is tuned to take advantage of some of the features in Microsoft’s forthcoming operating system.
This is AMD’s first integrated graphics processor (IGP) to support DirectX 10.1 (the latest version of Microsoft’s multimedia library), and is the first IGP with 10.1 support. nVidia has a 10.1 IGP in the form of its GeForce GTS 250M.
Intel, which has an overwhelming chunk of the IGP market, has yet to release a DirectX 10 IGP chipset. DirectX 10 was released in 2007 with Windows Vista.
“We look at the update of this chipset as not a huge evolutionary change in chipsets. We added in a couple of new features but primarily added in the graphics core and added in a couple of new features we wanted for Windows 7,” Brent Barry, desktop brand manager for AMD told InternetNews.com.
There is a newer version of the library called DirectX 11 that comes with Windows 7. Support for DirectX 11 will come via discrete graphics processors on add-in boards from both ATI and nVidia. There’s no great rush, however, as it will be some time before DirectX 11 games and other applications hit the market.
High performance graphics support & energy efficiency
Between the DirectX 10.1, HDMI 1.3, Stream and UVD 2 support, the IGP has a pretty good amount of high performance graphics support, allowing for faster video transcoding, high definition decoding, Blu-ray playback, all while reducing the power draw. It’s also the first AMD IGP to support DisplayPort.
The 785G uses a Radeon HD 4200 core, making it one whole generation above the last IGP set, the 790G. Combined with the new 45nm Athlon II and Phenom II processors, AMD is seeing power reductions by as much as 50 percent in certain applications, Barry said.
“There are more energy efficiency features native in Windows 7. The main thing is throttling and switching on and off the GPU when it’s not being used. Windows 7 is just a better operating system than Vista. It’s doing power management better, along with better memory management and thread management,” he said.
The chipset meets the spec for system builders seeking Energy Star 5.0 compliance, he added.
Microsoft is pleased to announce the release of System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2.
Extending monitoring support from Windows platforms to UNIX and Linux servers and workloads, detailed reporting on service levels, enhanced monitoring capabilities for systems and web applications, and more, the trial for Operations Manager 2007 R2 is now available.
I saw this error before in establishing many failover clusters , In the validation phase of the cluster nodes everything went fine except the IP configurations part.
I made sure that all network drivers are static and the binding is right. But the error keep appearing every time I validate the cluster.
I found that one of my network drivers has APIPA IP although I haven’t
I run ‘ipconfig /all’ from the command prompt. You might have noticed a few extra interfaces, but not really understand what they are. I suspected that those NICs are the problem so open the server manager to see what I get. I saw that there is many drivers under Network adaptors
There I found driver called Teredo tunneling pseudo-interface
Teredo is an IPv6 transition technology that provides address assignment and host-to-host automatic tunneling for unicast IPv6 traffic when IPv6/IPv4 hosts are located behind one or multiple IPv4 network address translators (NATs). To traverse IPv4 NATs, IPv6 packets are sent as IPv4-based User Datagram Protocol (UDP) messages. For more information check Microsoft network part here
Teredo is enabled by default in Windows Server 2008.
To pass the validation wizard just disable Teredo tunneling pseudo-interface on the cluster nodes