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Feb
10
Hyper-V Standalone or Cluster Node BIOS Settings
Posted by Philip Elder on 10 February 2014 10:14 AM

Original Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Hyper-V Standalone or Cluster Node BIOS Settings

We we set up a new Hyper-V server whether standalone or cluster node we always walk through the BIOS settings on every server to verify that they are set correctly.

image

We make sure to disable the C States (this BIOS shows C3/C6) as they somehow interfere with performance as well as Live Migration throughput.

We are leaving Hyper-Threading enabled and Turbo Boost enabled for Windows Server 2012 and newer versions as the OS is now more than capable of dealing with vCPU threads being shifted out of parallel by a Core speed change.

image

If one is experiencing performance anomalies with a cluster setup then the first place to start is the BIOS settings as one of the nodes probably has an incorrect setting.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


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Oct
3
SMB Kitchen Crew Chat Today
Posted by Reprinted Article on 03 October 2013 03:04 PM

Sharing here because the #1 chat topic is always virtualization so thought some here might be interested.

We're holding one of our regular SMBKitchen Crew chats at 1600Hrs MST today.

At this chat we'll talk about the latest small business IT issues, answer your questions and make sure that you're aware of the latest stuff that we've published. Hope you can join us!

Click this link https://meet.lync.com/harborcomputerservices/amy/C2YB9SVC

I will be involved in this public chat today to talk a bit about what has been published by me already and to answer any questions that you may have along with the rest of the Crew!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Oct
3
SMB Kitchen Crew Chat Today
Posted by Reprinted Article on 03 October 2013 03:04 PM

Sharing here because the #1 chat topic is always virtualization so thought some here might be interested.

We're holding one of our regular SMBKitchen Crew chats at 1600Hrs MST today.

At this chat we'll talk about the latest small business IT issues, answer your questions and make sure that you're aware of the latest stuff that we've published. Hope you can join us!

Click this link https://meet.lync.com/harborcomputerservices/amy/C2YB9SVC

I will be involved in this public chat today to talk a bit about what has been published by me already and to answer any questions that you may have along with the rest of the Crew!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Sep
13
Why We Never Dedicate a NIC Port to a VM
Posted by Reprinted Article on 13 September 2013 09:39 AM

We never dedicate a NIC port to a VM. We always _team_ NIC ports. Generally there are two teams in standalone and cluster setups.

Team0: Management (Port 0 on NIC 0 and 1)

Team 1: vSwitch (Ports 1+ on NIC 0 and 1) – Dedicated

I kinda understand the logic of doing that, that is dedicating a NIC port to a VM. However, the whole purpose of virtualization is to separate the guest operating system from the hardware. So, one needs to break from that mindset.

There is no reason why the dual Intel quad-port configurations (8 ports total with 6 for the vSwitch) we do would have a problem with the in some cases 20+ VMs running on the host.

Team configuration exception to the rule would be for CAD/CAM/High Bandwidth needs:

  • Team0: Management (Port 0 on NIC 0 and 1)
  • Team1: vSwitch High I/O (Port 1 on NIC 0 and 1)
  • Team2: vSwitch General VMs (Ports 2+ on NIC 0 and 1)

That leaves a dedicated pair to the higher network bandwidth VM or VMs. We would leave VM density on Team1 at two or three maximum.

BTW, in a disaster recovery scenario having things teamed makes recovery a lot simpler. Trying to keep track of all of those vSwitch names mapped to what VM would be a real PITA when things were tense. Plus, getting all that configured would be that much more time wasted getting things back. Keep It Simple Sir

Oh, and one more thing: Why would one use a dedicated physical port on each node in a cluster for a highly available guest hosted on that cluster?

That leaves a single point of failure and yet we see that it is quite common for NIC teaming to not be used.

With NIC teaming now built into Windows Server 2012 RTM and newer there is no real reason to avoid teaming NICs or NIC Port groups to avoid that single point of failure.

So, when architecting a cluster setup please use NIC Teaming.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Sep
13
Why We Never Dedicate a NIC Port to a VM
Posted by Reprinted Article on 13 September 2013 09:39 AM

We never dedicate a NIC port to a VM. We always _team_ NIC ports. Generally there are two teams in standalone and cluster setups.

Team0: Management (Port 0 on NIC 0 and 1)

Team 1: vSwitch (Ports 1+ on NIC 0 and 1) – Dedicated

I kinda understand the logic of doing that, that is dedicating a NIC port to a VM. However, the whole purpose of virtualization is to separate the guest operating system from the hardware. So, one needs to break from that mindset.

There is no reason why the dual Intel quad-port configurations (8 ports total with 6 for the vSwitch) we do would have a problem with the in some cases 20+ VMs running on the host.

Team configuration exception to the rule would be for CAD/CAM/High Bandwidth needs:

  • Team0: Management (Port 0 on NIC 0 and 1)
  • Team1: vSwitch High I/O (Port 1 on NIC 0 and 1)
  • Team2: vSwitch General VMs (Ports 2+ on NIC 0 and 1)

That leaves a dedicated pair to the higher network bandwidth VM or VMs. We would leave VM density on Team1 at two or three maximum.

BTW, in a disaster recovery scenario having things teamed makes recovery a lot simpler. Trying to keep track of all of those vSwitch names mapped to what VM would be a real PITA when things were tense. Plus, getting all that configured would be that much more time wasted getting things back. Keep It Simple Sir

Oh, and one more thing: Why would one use a dedicated physical port on each node in a cluster for a highly available guest hosted on that cluster?

That leaves a single point of failure and yet we see that it is quite common for NIC teaming to not be used.

With NIC teaming now built into Windows Server 2012 RTM and newer there is no real reason to avoid teaming NICs or NIC Port groups to avoid that single point of failure.

So, when architecting a cluster setup please use NIC Teaming.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Aug
21
Kiss-o’-Death Packet – Time Then and Now
Posted by Reprinted Article on 21 August 2013 08:06 AM

In the days where CMOS and on board clocks ruled the roost time was rock solid. Between atomic clocks that became common place on the Internet and CMOS one never really had to worry too much about it. If there was a bit of a difference the OS would shift the CMOS clock back into alignment. Case closed.

The difference with virtualization is the separation between the OS and the hardware.

Now, one would think that all we really need to do is enable the sync between host and guest via their guest utilities. But a DC cannot be dependent on the host because the guest is not allowed to adjust the time _on_ the host if it is out of sync. If the host carries the DC way out of sync with the rest of the network toast is made.

We’ve seen clusters go down because of time being out of whack.

Our timing post has a registry edit in it that we used to do on 2008 RTM that allowed the guest to ping the host for time but once the OS was up and running it would pick up from ntp.org or whatever.

That registry edit is now there by default from what we have seen.

The time structures were never intended to compensate for today’s virtualization environment since no one could have envisioned the setup in the first place back then.

Now, look up “Kiss-o’-Death Packet” (NTP.ORG site). And we see why we need to be _very_ careful around the time setup on our virtualization platforms.

This packet is the primary reason we make sure we have a physical box set up on the local network to poll for the correct time within the virtualization environment. That box polls ntp.org. The virtualized DC polls that box as it will not stop answering like ntp.org would if polls are more frequent.

Imagine a high load VM setup where the PDC is set to poll ntp.org but the admin set up a script to run the poll a lot more frequently. After exhausting the ntp.org servers in its list due to Kiss-o'-Death Packets it would be hooped and time would go awry on that network.

Since we don’t work with VMware we personally am not aware of how that server setup can work as an NTP server.

We do, however, highly suggest making sure being aware of the perils of time when virtualized.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »




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