First look at the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Technical Preview

    Good day to all and a warming flame from the Lord of Fire!

    Probably about 100 years have passed since my last scripture on the Habré - due to objective circumstances ... But they have passed, and now I am back!
    Yes, and there are enough interesting topics: the appearance of the preliminary version of Windows 10 Technical Preview , and the new Windows Server Technical Preview ... And of course, System Center is also waiting for an update - and I’ll tell you about my favorite VMM Technical Preview today. Not very much, briefly - preview - it also previews in Africa, so far there isn’t much to tell, but still ...

    What will we put on?

    Well, first of all, let's figure out what this miracle of judo can be piled up before conducting any research and testing.
    Requirements arise as follows:

    - VMM Management Server (VMM Management Server) - it must be put on top of the Windows Server Technical Preview, a link to which is at the beginning of the article. You will also need the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit 8.1 and later to install VMM .

    - Database server for VMM - here in the exceptional version you need to install SQL Server 2014 - and not lower than Standard Edition. It can be installed on the same server as the VMM server itself, or on a remote, dedicated server.

    - VMM Console- Well, at least it needs to be installed on the same server as the VMM server, and for convenience on any system based on Windows Server Technical Preview, or Windows 10 Technical Preview - if we are talking about the client Axis.

    - VMM library servers - in fact, this is a network file ball on any server based on the same WS TP.

    - Hyper-V virtualization hosts - they should all be based on Windows Server Technical Preview as well.

    - WSUS update server - and here the story looks a little different, if you want to add this infrastructure component, it should be based on Windows Server 2012 R2 with the installed Windows Server Update Services role.

    - Server monitoring and reporting- This is essentially an Operations Manager TP based on WS TP. The database server must be either SQL Server 2012 SP2 or SQL Server 2014 with reporting services functionality.

    VMM itself, as well as System Center Technical Preview, can be taken from here (after going through the registration process).

    I also remind you that you must have a domain deployed to manage all components of the virtual infrastructure or the cloud, as a result.
    And after all the simple gestures we get the usual (already-yet) window for entering details for accessing the VMM console.

    They are no longer with us

    Maybe I'm exaggerating and overly tragic - but I propose to start with what we no longer see in VMM.
    And so - here is the list:

    - App Controller - this component has sunk into oblivion, since its role was taken by the Windows Azure Pack, so we are faced with a simple disposal of products that duplicate the functionality and unification of mechanisms and interfaces of private and public (hello hybrid) clouds.

    - Support for VMWare vCenter - now only versions 5.5 are supported - the rest of all versions are either goodbye or too early (I hope - ESXi 6.0 will be released soon too, and I would like to be able to work with it immediately and without expectations) ...

    - Support Citrix XenServer- all, "finita la comedy", now this component has completely lost support from VMM. Sadness, but what to do ...

    And what about the virtual machine itself?

    As for the guest OS, everything is quite simple here: everything that was before - it will work without official support - since we are talking about the Technical Preview version of the product. Also added work with guests based on WS TP and W10 TP.
    With the Linux hangout, we have a replenishment, namely:

    - CentOS versions 5 and 6

    - Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 5, 6, and 7

    - Debian version 7

    - Oracle version 5, 6, and 7

    - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server version 11

    - Ubuntu versions 12 and 14

    So here everything is quite expected and predictable, without sensations - let's say directly. And in principle, the guest list has long been known to everyone, it’s not a big deal - to learn how to meet and accompany them individually, even despite nuclear-related ties.


    A number of improvements and features also appeared here.
    Let's take a closer look at them:

    - Integrated naming of virtual network adapters - this primarily applies to guest OSs. Previously, if you had several adapters inside the VM, one of which, for example, looks into the external network, and the other into the internal network, then to achieve this goal you had to dance with a tambourine - hello VB scripts or PowerShell. Now, when deploying 2nd generation virtual machines, you can specify the names for the adapters both during the deployment process and in the VM template, which subsequently greatly facilitates the identification of networks.

    - Extending VMM functionality through Service Extensions - now these components can be added directly from the VMM console.

    - Creation and application of logical switches (logical switches) - this allows you to create virtual switch templates, as well as port profiles and classifications on Windows Server Technical Preview and massively apply them to virtualization hosts based on WS TP.

    - Virtual machine network configurations - to solve this problem, you can use logical networks, VM networks, MAC address pools and IP address pools both individually and in combinations of different network settings for VMs.

    Storage facilities

    Well, in the end, I’ll tell you about what is going on with the storage systems and their incarnations.

    As for the block type of storage access:

    - You can provide storage at the block level using iSCSI and Fiber Channel mechanisms.

    - You can, in the context of FC, manage the factories and zones of your SAN network.

    As for the file level, the situation is this:

    - based on SOFS, a scalable file server based on WS TP - you can create both file balls for hosting resources and storage pools (though the latter are all same block access level.

    - VMM can also provide storage resources by self-deploying SOFS, or by adding resources based on third-party NAS devices.

    In general, the picture looks something like this. I personally can’t say that many new or unclaimed functions have appeared, but the composition is moving in the right direction. I think that we are still waiting for interesting news ahead - and as soon as there are enough of them, we will tell you about them.
    Have a nice week!


    The Fireman,
    George A. Hajiyev

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