Using Azure Automation to check health of Minecraft server in Azure

October 24th, 2014 No comments

As every responsible dad out there I have set up an Minecraft server to my daughter so she can play with her friends!

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I  have deployed a Windows Server on Azure in which I installed the Minecraft server with the right mods, apparently that is important ;-) I have not myself got lost in the Minecraft world, maybe because I grew up in the 80´s and had games that was mega-pixel and now I want that high definition graphics!

To see that it is working and alive I wanted some kind health check so here Azure Automation comes into play! Of course there would have been easier ways but I want try new stuff and also test and see how Azure Automation works and can be utilized.

So I created a runbook that checks the status and try to remediate the issue if it is not working:

I have utilised the YAMS so that the Minecraft Server is handled by a Windows Service. If there is some outage or maintenance on Azure the VM can be restarted and then it is good to know that the Minecraft Server will start even if no user is logged in. If for some reason the YAMS service is stopped or the Minecraft Server has stopped my runbook can remidiate that!

In Azure Automation I can schedule a check every 1 hour:

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And as you can see when checking a job it reports that my Minecraft server is working!

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To connect to the VM´s powershell endpoint I have added SessionOption -SkipCACheck thus letting me connect without getting a cert from a trusted certificate authority or importing the servers cert. Saw this option on Tim´s blog post and borrowed it:-)

In the deployed VM I have also done as explained in the PowerShell Tip from powershell.com to be able to connect to it as it is not part of a domain and when PowerShell remoting is enabled it uses Kerberos by default and the Minecraft server is standalone thus Kerberos not working!

Probably I will do some tweaking and update the script later but you can at least see the possibilities and power of using Azure automation!

Categories: Automation, Azure, Powershell, Virtualization Tags:

Microsoft Teched Europe 2014 – Sessions to watch/attend

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

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Next week Teched Europe kicks of and that will tons of great sessions! Sadly I can´t be there this year :-( but family comes first and the week after that I will be at the MVP Summit in Redmond!

But whats so great with the Microsoft conferences is that you can be part of whats happening even if you cannot make it onsite! Channel 9 will be live broadcasting and also all cool sessions will be uploaded!!

Here are some of the sessions that either if you will be in Barcelona or if you want to check out the recording later should watch/attend!!

As I am an Hyper-V MVP I of course have focus on virtualization, but as my friend and former colleague Fredrik Nilsson says: “attend a session on something you do not know” so here is my top 10 to watch out for!

Tuesday, October 28 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM Room: Hall 8.1 Room L
Speaker(s): Taylor Brown

 

Wednesday, October 29 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Room: Hall 8.0 Room B1

 

Wednesday, October 29 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Hall 8.1 Room H

 

Wednesday, October 29 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM Room: Hall 8.1 Room L
Speaker(s): Ned Pyle

 

Wednesday, October 29 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Hall 8.0 Room A2
Speaker(s): Aidan Finn

 

Tuesday, October 28 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM Room: Hall 8.1 Room J
Speaker(s): Jeffrey Snover

 

Thursday, October 30 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM Room: Hall 8.0 Room C1
Speaker(s): Mark Russinovich

 

Tuesday, October 28 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM Room: Hall 8.1 Room L

 

Thursday, October 30 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Hall 8.0 Room D1

 

Wednesday, October 29 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM Room: Hall 8.0 Room B1
Speaker(s): Mahesh Narayanan

 

There are of course a ton of more sessions and I will probably do a revision once I have watched the recordings :-)

And during the week follow TechEd in social media :

 

Categories: Hyper-V, TechPreview, Virtualization Tags:

Live migrating VM´s between clusters in VMM 2012 R2

October 17th, 2014 No comments

Today I have been doing some work at a customer creating a Hyper-V 2012 R2 Cluster and starting to live migrate VM´s from their Hyper-V 2012 Cluster.

Doing that from VMM gave me some errors and here is the solution so that if you happens to get into the same problem :-)

First of all, when added the new cluster to VMM I tried to live migrate a VM but got this error (12700)

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 19.30.43After a quick search on the net I found this blog post explaining the need to configure kerberos live migration and delegation between the hosts and also that the hosts needs an “Host Management Credentials” account set up in the properties! I had already set up the hosts to use Kerberos and delegation between and still got the above error but when checking the Run As account it was empty:

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 15.53.45The problem as you can see though, it is greyed out and cannot be altered, I tried to do add an account through PowerShell and there I got an answer that it had to be set on the cluster,

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checking on the cluster properties in the VMM console there is nowhere to add or see the management credential

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So back to PowerShell again:

 

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And when this is set all the cluster hosts have this credential set and then when doing a Live Migration it succeeded :-)

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hyper-V, Powershell, SCVMM, Virtualization Tags:

MVMC 3.0 released with P2V support

October 13th, 2014 1 comment

The day has come with a new version of the free conversion tool from Microsoft, MVMC 3.0 have been released.

There where some bashing on the net when the VMM 2012 R2 was released and the P2V functionality was removed from that version and some crazy ideas using a secondary VMM 2012 SP1 to do the P2V migrations and then importing into the VMM 2012 R2 was suggested, well that time is now no more now :-)

The installation is quite straightforward with the msi and just a simple wizard.

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Once installed You can start exploring the new options including the new P2V.

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When doing a P2V the MVMC will install an agent on the source and when doing a P2V the source have to be online during the migration.

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And then you go through the wizard and start the conversion

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Once it is finished, you find the VM in your Hyper-V host and can start it, but beware that the wizard does not ask if you want to shut down your source after migration so that is something you have to take care of before starting that P2V´d VM

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But wait you say, I have 100 vm´s and will die if I use the wizard for all of them! Then you can use the PowerShell module and automate the conversion:

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The operating systems that is supported migrating with the MVMC are (although only Windows with the P2V):

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard x64
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter x64
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard x64
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter x64
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter x64
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8 Pro (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Professional (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (x86/x64)
  • Windows Vista Enterprise x86/x64
  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 6 (x86/x64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86/x64)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 (x86/x64)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (x86/x64)
  • SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS 6 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS 5 (x86/x64)
  • Debian GNU/Linux 7 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Linux 6 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Linux 5 (x86/x64)

Good luck in your migrations!!

Categories: Azure, Hyper-V, Virtualization, VMware, Win2012 Tags:

Download SysCtr Tech Preview VHD´s with PowerShell

October 12th, 2014 No comments

Now that the Windows Server Technical Preview and also the System Center Technical Preview have arrived everyone wants to start testing, I have in an earlier post done some initial testing of the new Hyper-V features.

If you want to quickly test the released System Center Tech Preview then use the preinstalled VHD´s that helps you get up and running much faster than installing on your own :-)

The released System Center Tech Preview roles are

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center Orchestrator
  • System Center Operations Manager
  • System Center Data Protection Manager
  • System Center Service Manager

I have in earlier post showed how you can download all the VHD´s for System Center 2012 R2 and of course I could not use that script right of the shelf for downloading the tech preview as someone have done changes on the web page, but here is it! And I have also added some more functionality for you to choose which of the roles you want or all.

First of the changes gives for some reason duplicates of each file url from the web page I collect the download url´s I want to download and to get around that I use the superduper cmdlet and parameter Select-Object -Unique which gives me an array with all files just once ;-)

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Secondly with Invoke-WebRequest PowerShell uses IE under the hood and I get this dialogue and to get rid of that i use -BasicParsing and that lets PowerShell use its own parser.

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And as you saw in the above screendump I utilize Switch parameters so you can choose which of the roles you want and here you can see the script and copy to your own lab server and start downloading to test!

And by the way, make sure that you either have enough storage available on C: or what drive and folder you want to save it to with the -Dest parameter!!

Observe also that you probably will start the download and go for a walk or sleep as it is quite some data that will be downloaded!

Happy testing!

Hyper-V in new Windows Server technical Preview

October 1st, 2014 No comments

So today Microsoft released their technical previews of Windows 10 and also of Windows Server

As an Hyper-V interested guy I wanted to check out some things in this build, there have already been a blog post about cool features such as rolling cluster updates so that you can have different versions in the Hyper-V cluster and keep the VM´s up all time during an upgrade.

There are some more info on the technet site discussing the different new features:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn765471.aspx

I downloaded the Windows Server technical preview from my MSDN and started the installation, it was really fast (and yes I have an SSD)

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In this screendump you can see that 5.0.9841.0 version of the PowerShell is included in the server technical preview

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And as you can see there is 182 cmdlets for the new Hyper-V PowerShell module

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After you have moved your 2012 or 2012 R2 VM´s you can update the VM configuration to the latest version but beware that once done that you cannot move those VM´s back to the old Hyper-V host.

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A new feature in this version is also that you can make snapshots (yea I still not like Checkpoint name) that uses VSS, and if that is not available it will fail-back to standard snapshots

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And still in this version you can via PowerShell enable Processor compability for those Windows NT server ;-)

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When I get some more time I will dig some more into it and do a follow up post

happy testing!

 

Categories: Hyper-V, Powershell, Virtualization Tags:

Hyper-V Failover Cluster Validation – think twice

September 22nd, 2014 1 comment

I was talking to some guys with a quite solid VMware background and they were working on setting up a Hyper-V cluster with Windows Azure Pack as frontend.

Their environment was a traditional setup with Hyper-V hosts connecting to a SAN with FC thus using CSV´s for storing the VM´s. All VM´s including their management was configured on these hosts.

As a best practice they ran the Failover Cluster Validation (and yes you should run it or you won’t get support) but as I will show you, they had an unwanted restart of their VM´s including the one they had failover cluster manager started so look and think twice before starting that validation with all tests!

with no HA – VM´s there are not so much to think about but once you add VM´s there is, and it can have some consequences…

If you in the wizard add the CSV volume to the test  you can see the warning showing that you will get the VM´s stopped doing the validation,

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.55.27

Going next in the wizard and then going back the warning has disappeared!

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But of course in the Confirmation it still says that the VM roles will be stopped but if you are in a hurry and start the validation then all VM´s on the CSV volumes will be stopped and then started and maybe that was not what you had intended from the beginning!

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.56.27

So look and select the options carefully when doing a validation of a cluster with production workloads in :-)

Categories: Hyper-V, Virtualization Tags:

Automation the future of IT Operations or prepare to die

September 19th, 2014 No comments

So you are an IT Pro or maybe an CIO or CTO and have been sleeping under your desk the latest years or so? But the IT Operations departments are under a lot of stress these days coping in being able to deliver the services to the business in the pace that they demand! Do you recognize this? For example your development division request 50 VM´s and wanted them yesterday, Your response is that come back in a week or two….

Many IT departments are seeing their internal customers such as Dev or Business going outside of the organisation and buying their services directly from Azure or another public cloud provider delivered instantly and that also cheaper than you could produce internally..

Here the Hybrid way of thinking becomes important and why, well you will not be able to compete with all the services that the public cloud can give you in a cheaper and more reliable way so IT Operations of tomorrow will utilize the public cloud as their own and be able to use it for their needs where their private cloud lacks functionality or capacity and in that way respond to the requests from the departments.

Giving the users an self service portal where they can order and see the cost of their engagements is an important part of this and when you implement this you have to have  automation as a key part because the users want things to happen when they press the build button!

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Taking Microsofts Azure data centers as an example, they have automated enormously and that from the physical layer all the way into the virtual machines and networks. How does this automation gain you with your environment and becoming more agile and not just run around putting out fires but being able to address the needs of the company IT challenges today and also tomorrow!

Some say that we are in the second machine age and that the IT will have to change big time. Just look at the public cloud Company’s and their services, if they would have done things in a traditional way they would have to charge xx times the amount the charge for their services and also be xx more manpower on the data centers to cope with the day to day operation.

In the latest year Microsoft have released several automation solutions that have been developed and gives you the tools for this must-have automation platform. First of is the Service Management Automation (SMA) which is a robust orchestration engine based on PowerShell workflows and this has also been released as Azure Automation. Secondly we have Microsofts investment in Desired State Configuration and here this also utilize PowerShell. The DSC have some development left but it is so powerful and really large web services utilize this today and keeping their massive services compliant and up to date! DSC can be used for provisioning different things including third party software solutions and for example, Microsoft Azure offers different web services (jomla, wordpress etc) deployed in an automated way probably with some DSC technology behind the curtains.

Of course this gigantic automation project will not be done over a night and will cost quite a bit of money in initial investment but the winning and surviving IT Department is the one successful in their automation processes!

9 years ago I started an onboarding automation process and on that time I had VB script to work with but that manual labor every time a new employee was hired was painful and so boring and already at that time I found the will and inspiration to learn techniques to automate. Still today there are several processes in companies that are perfect candidates for automation but for some reason still being done manually…

Let me help you get Strategic in your IT (automation) delivery!

Categories: Automation, General Tags:

Error 21161 when doing Bare-Metal deployment on VMM 2012 R2

September 13th, 2014 1 comment

Yesterday I was testing Bare-Metal deployment on a VMM 2012 R2 with a new Hyper-v image and got the error 21161 during the process of making a physical machine into a Hyper-V Server.

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I did of course check the library server (which was the same as the VMM server) and also that the vhdx that contains the Hyper-V image was in the library. I also checked the profile where the reference to the VHDx is and everything looked good.

The error was resolved when checking out the library server properties and changing to a host group instead of the default.

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I have been deploying servers from this VMM before and why it started to complain right now is a mystery and I will dig and see if I can find the reason and if I do you will get an update on the blog, but now you know how to get it running :-)

Update: Daniel Clarke mentioned my fix, In the VMM I have as this error occured I had not updated to UR3 during the time between the deployments which would otherwise had maybe explained the error. I have now updated the server to UR3 and can still do bare-metal deploy.

happy deployment!

Categories: Hyper-V, SCVMM, Virtualization Tags:

New Emulex drivers available at HP support

September 9th, 2014 No comments

I have been helping a customer a while with their Hyper-V environment and now I saw on twitter that HP had new Emulex drivers that could be downloaded so I thought that I should give it a try, there has been quite a storm about the problems with VMQ and Emulex and if you want to read more about that you can check out this link to my friends at Hyper-V.nu . My experience of this problem is that it have been on Gen8 HP blades with a newer Emulex networking on them. Right now I only had G7 to test on.

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As a best practice I run the Hyper-V hosts in Core but that did not give me any issues when installing (yes I use VMM bare-metal deployment and will after verified success update that to have this latest drivers )

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As it is networking drivers I lost my RDP session for a few seconds before it was fully installed and then I could see the result

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 21.59.45

 

And checking with powershell Get-NetAdapter I can verify that the GUI is not lying :-P

 

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And also you can see that the VMQ is enabled for my two NIC´s

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Here you can find the HP drivers for in this case a HP BL460 G7 .

Categories: Hyper-V, Virtualization Tags: