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News
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 »



Jun
12
SMBKitchen: My Hyper-V Configuration Guide Is Released!
Posted by Reprinted Article on 12 June 2013 12:13 PM
I'm very excited to announce that my Hyper-V Configuration Guide has been released to the SMBKitchen Project's knowledgebase!
image
I walk through a number of critical areas in this guide relative to deploying a properly sized Hyper-V virtualization solution.
  • Questions to ask the client
    • Verticals they serve, software products used, data volume and growth
  • Various solution grades
    • Entry, mainstream/mid-level, and high performance configurations
  • Needs analysis
    • Find the top five key pain points for the prospect/client
  • Hardware
    • Bottlenecks in the system and how to address them
    • CPU and Memory
  • Client types
    • 10 seat accounting firm
    • 35 seat architectural/engineering firm
    • 55 seat manufacturing client
  • Each client type gets a number of options made available. Each option is explained with highlights of what they provide value for the client/prospect.
    I believe this chapter in the SMBKitchen solution kit will be well worth your time.
    And, when it comes time for the next Author's Chat subscribers will have the chance to discuss and ask questions about the many points in this article!
    Soon to come: Hyper- V Cluster Configuration Considerations
    image
    This document is composed of the pearls born of many a month of painstaking sifting through vendor's documentation tied into much trial and error. :)
    Our blog article on How to Subscribe to the SMBKitchen.
    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 »



    Jun
    12
    SMBKitchen: My Hyper-V Configuration Guide Is Released!
    Posted by Reprinted Article on 12 June 2013 12:13 PM
    I'm very excited to announce that my Hyper-V Configuration Guide has been released to the SMBKitchen Project's knowledgebase!
    image
    I walk through a number of critical areas in this guide relative to deploying a properly sized Hyper-V virtualization solution.
    • Questions to ask the client
      • Verticals they serve, software products used, data volume and growth
    • Various solution grades
      • Entry, mainstream/mid-level, and high performance configurations
    • Needs analysis
      • Find the top five key pain points for the prospect/client
    • Hardware
      • Bottlenecks in the system and how to address them
      • CPU and Memory
  • Client types
    • 10 seat accounting firm
    • 35 seat architectural/engineering firm
    • 55 seat manufacturing client
  • Each client type gets a number of options made available. Each option is explained with highlights of what they provide value for the client/prospect.
    I believe this chapter in the SMBKitchen solution kit will be well worth your time.
    And, when it comes time for the next Author's Chat subscribers will have the chance to discuss and ask questions about the many points in this article!
    Soon to come: Hyper- V Cluster Configuration Considerations
    image
    This document is composed of the pearls born of many a month of painstaking sifting through vendor's documentation tied into much trial and error. :)
    Our blog article on How to Subscribe to the SMBKitchen.
    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 »



    May
    22
    Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica
    Posted by admin on 22 May 2013 08:22 PM

    Found on Microsoft's Download site:

    We head on over and download both the executable as well as the Word document that accompanies it.

    image

    Then on to:

    image

    And finally:

    image

    Ooops. We are looking to assess a Hyper-V Replica that is set up and online already!

    Well, like any good IT Professional the next step is to actually read that manual! ;)

    image

    Based on the FAQ later in the document we will need to run this tool against some VMs hosted on Server 2012.

    So, the next step for us will be to run some tests against the required Hyper-V environment to get an idea of what the tool will be reporting.

    More to come on that . . .

    The link for this little tool comes to us via Susan Bradley the SBS Diva.

    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 »



    May
    22
    Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica
    Posted by admin on 22 May 2013 08:22 PM

    Found on Microsoft's Download site:

    We head on over and download both the executable as well as the Word document that accompanies it.

    image

    Then on to:

    image

    And finally:

    image

    Ooops. We are looking to assess a Hyper-V Replica that is set up and online already!

    Well, like any good IT Professional the next step is to actually read that manual! ;)

    image

    Based on the FAQ later in the document we will need to run this tool against some VMs hosted on Server 2012.

    So, the next step for us will be to run some tests against the required Hyper-V environment to get an idea of what the tool will be reporting.

    More to come on that . . .

    The link for this little tool comes to us via Susan Bradley the SBS Diva.

    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 »



    May
    17
    Creating a Fixed VHD in Windows 7 and a ShadowProtect P2V
    Posted by admin on 17 May 2013 12:57 PM

    We have a VHD creation process running in the Windows 7 Disk Management console:

    image

    The above VHD is being created on a network share hosted by one of our Hyper-V servers (2008 R2). It will be a 160GB fixed VHD that will host the Windows 7 machine’s OS once ShadowProtect is finished.

    While that process is running ShadowProtect is taking an image of the Windows 7 machine as it will be P2Vd onto the above Hyper-V host.

    image

    This image is running to a 2008 R2 file server.

    The machine is a Core i7-875K with a pair of 80GB Intel X25-M SSDs running in RAID 0 and is soon to be retired.

    We will use our P2V Hyper-V Integration Services (previous blog post) step to get rid of the RAID signature and enable IS in the OS. Then, we will use our Hardware Independent Restore (previous blog post) steps to clean out any left-over devices from the physical machine.

    We find out of all products available to us, including Microsoft’s own Disk2VHD too, that ShadowProtect gives us the most reliable method of moving a physical machine into a virtual setting or taking a VM and restoring it to hardware.

    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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