Regional Settings on your VMM 2012 R2 VM Templates

When you created VM templates out-of-the-box in System Center Virtual Machine Manager they get the en-US regional settings for all rolled-out VM´s and that in Sweden is not always standard for the IT departments and the IT techi-guy has to configure that manually afterward. This can be altered with either PowerShell or with an unattend.xml file.

If there happens to be some templates that you have not configured with the right regional settings and keyboard layout I have a small PowerShell script that will configure this for all templates in the VMM library.

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Check out this KB2709539 article for more information and also your specific regional codes for your country 🙂

Using MVMC 2.0 to migrate a VMware VM to Azure IaaS

This evening (in my timezone) Microsoft released the new version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 that has the functionality to also migrate VM´s to Azure in the wizard. I wanted to take that path for a spinn to test and see how that worked.

There are still some things to think about when using the tool,

  • it still uses ovf export
  • the VM in VMware is offline during the copy of the vmdk data (it creates a VHD for Azure, but if you choose a Hyper-V host you can set it to create a VHDX instead), this can with large amounts of data take some time and will consume space on the converter server.
  • The VM´s Windows OS has to be joined in a Active Directory domain, and the account being used has administrative rights in the VM to successfully uninstall VMware tools during conversion.
  • No EFI support, meaning that the VM´s in your vSphere has to be setup with BIOS to be able to convert (Windows 2012 and later is from a best practice in VMware configured with EFI), but UEFI support is only on VM´s i generation 2 and Azure does not have that, at least not yet..
  • Notice also that now with version 2.0 there is no support for migrating those Win 2003 VM´s

So how does it work in a migration from a VMware VM to Azure, well first of all in the wizard I select to migrate to Azure

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Then I will add some information for the connection to my Azure subscription (yes I have done some editing in the image so not the whole world reading my blog would se my cert thumbprint and sub id)

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After that I select what storage account I want the VHD to be transferred to (smart to think twice to select the storage account in the region where you have the network configured if you are using site 2 site vpn and such 😛 ).

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Then I connect to either vCenter or an ESXi and select what VM I want to convert

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After that I either use the already entered credentials or other and the state of the source VM for a successful VMware tools uninstall and as it is being migrated to Azure I do not get the option to select state of the destination VM (that can of course if used with the Azure PowerShell module and MVMC module be automated)

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For the MVMC to succeed in its task to move the VM to Azure it has to store the VHD somewhere before moving it up to the cloud, the little caveat here is that it will create a fixed size vhd so bare that in mind when selecting the drive so you have space!

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Then it´s time to kickoff the conversion

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And as you can see in my vCenter the conversion is under its way

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And then after some waiting the conversion and the upload to azure has completed,

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Now I can enter the Azure management portal and create a VM and from the gallery select this disk disk_testmigrate_00_os.vhd , as the MVMC creates a disk pointer from the storage blob (the VHD) I do not need to do that part.

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And then I can connect to the VM

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Apparently I had some issues creating the VM as a Basic but using standard it worked nicely and as you can see I managed to get an RDP session to it.. So it was not lost in the cloud as in this Dilbert cartoon 😛

lostdatacenter

New version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 and MAT

Today Microsoft released the long awaited new version of the Virtual Machine Converter (the 1.0 version could be integrated with MAT but had limits in both VMware and Hyper-V latest releases). Microsoft has also released a new version of the MAT (migration automation toolkit) that supports the MVMC 2.0 to automate the migration!

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New Features in MVMC 2.0

MVMC 2.0 release of MVMC includes the following new features:

    • Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Windows Azure.
    • Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
      Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
    • Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts.
    • Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
    • Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
    • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
    • Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion

in the link you can read more about the MVMC functionality

As you can see in the wizard the option to upload the converted VM to Azure directly has been added

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And now in this version we have native PowerShell with the MVMC PS module as described above:

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I will show more in a later post how it can be used and how it works with both migrations to Hyper-V and also directly to Azure 🙂

both MVMC and MAT can be read about and downloaded here

testing the new Microsoft Azure Portal

Well as I am a techy nerd I have been checking out and following the Build keynote on Channel 9 and found that they now release the Microsoft Azure Portal, it is in Preview but it looks good! Just hope that this also soon comes to the Windows Azure Pack to the hosters

I have signed in at the Portal.Azure.com and as you can see I get a good overview regarding my subscriptions and how the Azure current status is right now

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right now in the preview I cannot handle my IaaS VM´s and networks yet 🙁  but that will probably be updated soon I can think …

Installed Windows 8.1 Update that was available from MSDN today

Noticed today that during the Build conference that Microsoft released an update to Windows 8.1 and also for Windows Server 2012 R2.

The improvements have been blogged at this MS link

I downloaded from my MSDN and started installing

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In the Update zip there is a text file describing which KB that should be applied first and in what order.

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No problems during the installation but several reboots though 😛

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And once installed I can among other things see that when logging in I get to the desktop directly and I also can find the power button and search from the startscreen!

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Good luck in your upgrade 🙂