SC VMM bare metal deploy with UEFI enabled host

During last week I was working on some bare metal deployment on some Hyper-V hosts with System Center VMM. We had deployed them before using legacy boot but now we had updated the BIOS to latest version and got into some trouble.. Maybe it was because of the HPE instead of the HP 😉

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During the deployment the WinPE got an error and could not connect to the VMM server,

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We tried to update NIC drivers and stuff on the WinPE image but that did not help. During the testing we started the server and configured it to boot with EFI instead of legacy boot and olala it worked to connect to the VMM server but thus as the Hyper-V VHD was MBR we got the following error:

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The easiest way I could think of right there and then was to create my new GPT based VHD to boot the Hyper-V host with a powershell convert script from the original MBR vhd. The script required to be run on a Hyper-V host so I connected to one of the Hyper-V nodes in the test cluster and ran the script on a patched VM that was sysprepped:

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And once that was done I had to update the Physical profile to set the disk to GPT instead of MBR:

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And now the deployment worked nicely all the way!

 

Download SysCtr 2016 TP4 VHD´s with PowerShell

I have been using and publishing my script for easily download all the VHD´s for evaluating and testing the technical previews of System Center 2016 and now it is time for the TP4! These pre-installed VHD´s make it quite easy to spin up some of the System Center Suite as VM´s on your Hyper-V box within minutes once downloaded.

Here is the script for your convenience and start playing with the new release!

 

 

Rescue failing deploy from VMM 2012 R2 to Hyper-v hosts

I was contacted by a customer with an issue where he could not use ISO´s or deploy VM´s from his VMM server to the Hyper-V hosts.

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First I started searching the net for solutions and found some that could match:

Move VM error  : https://fawzi.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/vmm-2012-sp1-error-2912-when-moving-vm/ suggesting changing BITS port

Deploy VM from VMM : http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nitinsingh/archive/2015/03/31/getting-error-error-2912-quot-an-internal-error-has-occurred-trying-to-contact-the-server-no-param-no-param-while-trying-to-deploy-a-virtual-machine-in-system-center-virtual-machine-manager-scvmm.aspx where I updated the hosts certificates on the VMM server,

but they did not help as the error continued, I also tried to reinstall the VMM agents on the hosts if that would have been the cause.

Starting to investigating this issue more thoroughly i noticed some strange things, I could store VM´s from the hosts into the VMM library so that way worked with BITS, So the problem seemed to be related to the VMM Server..

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Talking with my friend and MVP Daniel Neumann he sent me a link to another blog post that describes if you have deleted the VMM certificate (my certificate was there but apparently out of sync in some way) so here is the steps to regenerate the VMM certificate:

1. Launch the VMM PowerShell on the Virtual Machine Manager server.

2. Type the following and press enter:

$credential = get-credential

3. Type the username and password that is a local admin on the VMM server.

4. Type the following and press enter:

Get-VMMManagedComputer -ComputerName “vmm2012sp1.contoso.com” | Register-SCVMMManagedComputer  -Credential $credential

5. Ensure that the VMM job completes successfully under the Jobs tab in the VMM console.

Note: In my example above, vmm2012.contoso.com is the FQDN of the VMM server.

And after this the VMM deploy works again!

 

Moving SCVMM 2012 R2 Server going bad

I have helped two customers moving their System Center VMM 2012 R2 servers to a Hyper-V VM..  Instead of carrying legacy stuff we installed a new Generation 2 VM in Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012 R2.

Easier said than done… or?

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So what went wrong at both customers and how did I solve it?

We copied the library and the database backup from the old server. Did a shutdown of that one and then started the new one and added that to the domain and then installed the VMM server.

Patched it to UR7 with windows update and after that we did a restore of the db from the old system with the binary scvmmrecover.exe -path <db-backupfile>.

After that I started the console and trying to check things in properties and stuff and the console crashed  the service got a dump:

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Looking at the dump, I could see that not everything was great with the database, (the old VMM server was patched to UR7 before I did a database backup). Based on the log file something is missing in the restored database…

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So how did I solve it? I uninstalled the UR7 on the VMM server and then reinstalled it and voila, no more crashes!

 

Using Azure Automation and Hybrid Worker to automate SCVMM tasks

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Azure Automation and Hybrid Runbook workers are fun to play with and today I wanted to try something like automating System Center VMM tasks,

I read Markus Lassfolk´s post about changing VM´s network adapters MAC from dynamic to static which is the prefered setting that you should use for your Hyper-V VM´s. So How could I utilize this with Azure Automation runbooks instead of an script that is run on the VMM server?

In my runbook I have a VMM Automation account declared as a credential and I connect to the VMM server with that to be able to reconfigure the VM´s. If I do not use a -PSCredential for the inlinescript the Runbook worker will try to use the system account of the Worker server and that does not work so well on the connection to the VMM server,

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Either start it from powershell console if you have Azure PowerShell module installed or within the GUI and I used only one input parameter and that can be used for an explicit VM or “All” VM´s.

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And as you can see in the VMM log I have changed the VM´s NICS, and also if a VM have two or more NICS all of them get a static MAC configured :

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Hope that you see the potential in Azure Automation and Happy automating!

 

Download SysCtr TP3 evaluation VHD´s with PowerShell

Earlier this week Microsoft released Windows Server Technical Preview 3 and System Center Technical Preview 3 to the masses.

There is also a way to easily test the System Center bits instead of installing everything with prereqs and stuff and that is to use the preinstalled VHD´s that Microsoft and the System Center team provides.

You can find the eval VHD´s here on the download site:

Or you can use my powershell script to download them and import into your Hyper-V server and start playing once downloaded :-D. If there are issues during download you can just start the script again as I check if the file already been downloaded so you will only download each file once and as I use the BITS engine the file appears in the download folder when it is completely downloaded….

Happy playing!!

Download SysCtr Technical Preview 2 eval VHD´s with Powershell

I have just updated my script that allows you to download all or selected roles of the newly released System Center Technical Preview 2 that was announced on Ignite.

Update 2015-06-12 :  Now I configured a If that checks if the file already is downloaded…

It will depending on your broadband connection take various of hours getting all the files..

Good luck in testing those new things you learned about from Ignite 🙂

Review of the new 5nine Manager 6.1

I have used both Hyper-V Manager and System Center VMM from the early beginning of Hyper-V in 2008. If you wanted to use a tool with several Hyper-V hosts either that was standalone or in cluster you had to use VMM, especially if using the deploy functionality with templates and OS customization.When System Center 2012 was released they decided to sell it as a whole product with different roles which means you have to buy either a System Center Standard (for single managed server hosting up to 2 VM´s) or a System Center Datacenter (Virtualization hosts using 2pCPU with unlimited managed VM´s on that licensed host). There are though some alternative and one of them is the 5nine Manager.

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5nine Manager has been evolving for some version since they first saw daylight and now they have added some really cool features making it a real competitor to VMM and if you do not use the other System Center roles this could be a good buy.

part of the new 6.1 version, these new features exist:

  • Graphical Monitoring Plugin and Alerts 
  • New Optimizer Notifications 
  • Increased Scalability through Multiple Console Instances 
  • Simplified VM Management with Sortable Table Parameters 
  • Enhanced VM Templates 
  • Integrated Sysprep Tool 

The gui can be run on a Hyper-V Core server so no excuse here now to not use that for your virtualization hosts! I actually have had some discussions with customers why they do not want to run core because if the host would be disconnected and they would need to do some debug and analysing they thought that it would be to difficult when using core instead of the full gui. With the 5nine Manager you can manage and check your VM´s in a GUI but within the Core session 🙂

To get it working in your environment you need to install it on a Windows box. The nice thing here is that you can run it on a Windows 8.1/8/7 and connect to the different Hyper-V versions.

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Once installed you need to add Hyper-V hosts/clusters to manage them.

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The GUI in the console is quite easy to use and as you can see, I can right click on a VM and convert it as a template to be able to provision new VM´s. Another really nice feature which you can see in the list is “Set IP address” and this uses the functionality of the integrational services and sets the IP on the vNic inside the VM!!

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 And as you can see there are some more options in the bar with optimizer,monitor, reporting best practices and Hyper-V logs. I really like the GUI and that it is easy to find the different options and tasks not having to jump around between different views forever. Having a single pane of glass when searching Hyper-V hosts for failing VM´s or hardware issues through logs then this Manager is great.

Summary

As described above, If you do not use more than System Center VMM in your virtualization environment and the list price for System Center R2 Datacenter is about 3600 $ and the 5nine Manager would cost from 199 $ per host then there is not so much to argue about! There is also a free version of the 5nine Manager that you can use combined with VMM on your Windows Hyper-V Core hosts.

Error dialog when opening VMM console after update to VMM 2012 R2 UR5

I have updated a VMM server with the latest UR5 and now when opening the console the following error appears

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This was quite easily handled as you can see the folder is there but looking a bit further I found that authenticated users of the had no NTFS rights on the particular folder.

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After updating and adding authenticaded users as described in the release notes of the UR5 and giving it access to HostSIdeAdapters I did not get any error messages after starting the console

Download the new DPM 2012 R2 UR4 Eval VHD with Powershell and BITS

I was at a customer today and we decided to evaluate System Center DPM for their Hyper-V platform.

I was going to download the Eval VHD that so nicely have been updated with the latest UR4 but I got an irritating error, I reached out on twitter and it was not just me and the internet connection/Firewall I was using causing this as others where also having the same issue 🙁

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I later tried this evening and now it worked, they had changed the file extension for download to .ZIP instead of VHD

By using powershell you can just send your req to BITS and sit down and relax until it is finished and then you can evaluate DPM 🙂

Happy backuping and ” Real Men don’t take backup! – Or do they? “