Vol. 17, #26 - June 25, 2012 - Issue #885
P2V and V2V
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- P2V and V2V
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Microsoft Office 365 In Action: Join Us For a Live Online Demo Presented by Tushaus Computer Services
- This Week's Webcasts
- Register for Webcasts
- CTP2 for System Center 2012 SP1 is now available
- Get Ready for Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012 with MAP 7.0 Beta
- Connecting with IPv6 in Windows 8
- Getting started with Central Access Policies - Reducing security group complexity and achieving data access compliance using Dynamic Access Control
- Slow Boot Slow Logon (SBSL), A Tool Called XPerf and Links You Need To Read
- What's Causing that DFSR Change Storm?
- Defining the right cloud SLA requirements up front
- Five Desktop as a Service challenges holding up enterprise adoption
- Cloud management beyond the API
- The extensible Hyper-V virtual switch: Finally catching up to VMware
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- FREE SAN Monitor for EMC CLARiiON - Monitor Storage Performance & Avoid SAN Slowdowns
SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for tips, tools and other resources you might need to do your job or troubleshoot some problem you're dealing with. And please feel free to FORWARD IT TO A COLLEAGUE who you think might find it useful. Thanks!
From the Mailbag
The topic of cloud computing is probably something we'll be discussing more and more in this newsletter. And that's not just because "the cloud" is the latest trend in IT but also because the whole idea of businesses moving their IT infrastructure and services "into the cloud" directly impacts both our day-to-day jobs and our careers for those of us who are system administrators, consultants and other providers of IT services. In the June 11 issue of this newsletter titled Cloudy Thinking, we asked our readers what they thought about cloud computing and whether it's the future of IT or just a passing fad. Here is a sampling of responses beginning with some readers who feel positive about cloud computing:
While I dislike referring to all of the disparate remote services collectively as 'the cloud', it seems to have become ingrained in the public lexicon and is here to stay. My issue with the term is that it makes the definition 'cloudy' (pun intended) as there are very different challenges when implementing SaaS vs IaaS vs PaaS vs SoA functions . While all of the 'XaaS' acronyms are likely irrelevant for the non-technical consumer, for those implementing these services, the differential can be critical. While my experiences are limited to personal and SMB only (sub 200 employees) , I believe that entities of all sizes can utilize some of these services, but the benefits and drawbacks do differ as a result. Both personally and professionally, I have been using SaaS functions for several years. Web-mail is the ubiquitous example, but far from the only one. We adopted Postini as our email gateway 4+ years ago, and have been using Azure since its release. A little over two years ago we started using a hosted VOIP provider and this year we will be migrating to Lync and Office365. If it wasn't for the challenges of running a hosted AD domain, we could run all services/functions 'within the cloud' and get rid of everything except switches, firewall and internet connectivity. Our goal is the 'mobile virtual office', that connects both employee and client wherever, whenever without physical constraints (internet connectivity aside). Yes, there are many challenges when implementing these services, not the least of which is cultural. Many in IT feel threatened by this shift as it will make several functions, by which some define themselves, obsolete. Like many obsolescent transitions, when one door closes another soon opens. Instead of being concerned with those functions outsourced as a service, I consider this as an opportunity to off-load those tasks that 1) I rarely enjoy doing 2) find it difficult to stay current 3) are expensive and time consuming to upgrade and maintain. As a result, our business has more visibility into direct costs related per employee, per client, per physical location on a month by month basis, with the ability to scale up and down as often as we need. None of this would have been practical before in traditional SMB IT. Yes, there are risks/concerns and the naysayers will point to the latest exploit/failure/problem from Amazon, Microsoft, etc. However, the risks and concerns of managing it all yourself are (IMHO) far greater. I look forward to the day when we provide the employee a device that is 'tagged' to them, that becomes their portal/onramp to hosted services that they can take with them and provides authentication, encryption and backup wireless connectivity for whatever device they are using anytime/anywhere (with configuration options to limit/restrict all of those functions). [a cellular hot-spot with built in VPN, two-factor authentication and option to connect to an existing WiFi network and RJ45 port]. --Tim, CTO for a financial services company
The cloud is not going anywhere. :) 15 years ago, many wondered if the Internet was a passing fancy, but it has endured and matured and morphed into something that even non-technology businesses rely upon. The Internet will only be surpassed by something that is a superset of the Internet. Likewise, Cloud Computing represents a destination (but not a final one) that we have been pursuing since computing began. The cloud provides great flexibility. It allows businesses to take advantage of computing resources elsewhere, and only manage that data locally that they must for reasons of performance, security, privacy or cost. It offers small organizations the ability to run software that they would never be able to afford if they had to maintain the entire infrastructure themselves (CRM, ERP, etc). With great power/flexibility comes great risks, and these risks must be managed well. Cloud computing is here to stay because it provides the backbone of several other trends that are not going anywhere -- primarily mobile computing. Is the cloud perfect today? No. Will it get better? Sure. The primary issue is people, not technology, so you can imagine how long perfection will take. Technology professionals from developers to sysadmins to executives need to understand how it can be used effectively, and take a lead on introducing it to address legitimate business needs. Just saying no and hoping it goes away is not a winning strategy, and it's a whole lot easier to identify and mitigate risks when you are leading an effort than when you are dragged kicking and screaming behind it (or, worse yet, ignored and replaced because of your resistance). It is interesting to me that many of the people currently opposed to cloud computing were part of the group that ushered in client/server computing or internet computing -- on the backs of existing technologists who were adamant that the tried-n-true was superior to the new. IOW, at each step (mainframe to mini; mini to micro; stand-alone to LAN; LAN to internet; internet to cloud), the incumbents, who were themselves trendsetters at one time, became part of the establishment that could not adapt to change. Cloud computing has definitive benefits to organizations in terms of flexibility, minimized entry costs, and local facilities costs/restrictions. These should not automatically be dismissed even as new challenges are acknowledged. Only one thing is certain in technology and that is that change will come. It's here again. Time to take the lead. --Andrew from New York
Quite honestly, I believe the cloud to be a BIG deal and the future of IT (as least for the SME realm). However... the definition of cloud needs to be brought to discussion... everyone seems to have their own version of it. The biggest bang I get from Cloud is when I subscribe to service where there is a "common code base" (i.e. an outage impacts a very large set of customer and as such, there is a strong desire and focus on uptime). Some of these cloud services that are just moving boxes from a local site to a remote site is not really what I define as cloud computing. Also, the BYOD challenge and Cloud computing are inherently married (IMHO)... staff are buying iPads and bringing them to the office. They then find a cloud service that works with their iPad and they put the $20/month subscription on their company credit card. A simplistic example, yes, but it's happening. I have been an IT Director for many years as was getting tired of forever saying "No" and being security anal-retentive negative nelly to stuff the end users really wanted. They are investing and are version passionate about their specific technology piece. They WANT to use it for work.... I have since changed by tune and see it as my role to embrace the users' passion in their device and personal technology.... try and integrate it the best I can. Since embracing more cloud (Google Apps, Basecamp, NetSuite) and "renting" apps, I have to say "NO" less often and I have happier users. Is it costing less... not really... are they more productive... not really... is there less negative noise related to IT... yes... are we still getting business done... yes... all this said, my company does not launch rockets for a living and we still value security but we take a bit more of an open approach. Each company should do their own risk analysis how they want to react to BYOD and Cloud services; but simply saying NO never worked for me ;) --Eldon from Canada
Next, here are some readers who feel somewhat cooler towards cloud computing:
I personally don't believe the cloud is a replacement technology, yet. I believe the cloud is a complimentary technology. Even as ubiquitous and mature as cloud email is there are still plenty of limitations in cloud email that don't exist in on-premise email (most revolve around retention schedules but there are also integration issues like faxing software and third party apps that want to read your calendar via Exchange). Also, no matter what Google wants you to believe the internet is not available 24/7. In fact, I think Google may have just realized this themselves, hence, the purchase of Quick Office. I was frankly shocked to hear they purchased a mobile app. That purchase essentially goes against everything they preach in terms of "everything through the browser". --Barry from Las Vegas
We are on the pessimistic side of the Cloud technology. We don't relish the thought of relying upon somebody or some place else to store our information that we personally need to protect and take care of in our day-to-day business. We just don't like giving up any control and the Cloud has the element of putting some control elsewhere and relying upon it to always being there. We also don't like the rumblings we are hearing and reading about where the Government is taking control over the internet, commerce, communications, etc. which would include the transfer of one's information in the Cloud. Again, taking control of our business by the Feds is not something we'd like since they can't seem to even put together a budget. However they spend our tax dollars on "green energy" companies like the bankrupt Solyndra and numerous others which makes us further question them having access and take-over control of our business once our information is in the Cloud. We'll keep our servers and client machines in-house where we can manage them, run our in-house backups and even use programs like Carbonite as a secondary backup system. Thanks for taking out two-cents-worth. --Becky from Bellingham
We used to have free TV. Then some genius put up a tower that got a signal for those that couldn't afford an antenna, and charged them a small monthly fee, thereby instituting a "service" We had free radio. Then another genius decided to offer a small fee for the service. Now that computers have reached a pinnacle, Microsoft and others have decided to provide a service. This service means we can all have dumb terminals and trust our information to the cloud……for a small monthly fee. Sooo. What does cable cost today, DirecTV, Sirius radio, and others do you consider 75 dollars for a cell phone 50 dollars for cable, and another 25 a month for Sirius a small fee? I don't. Microsoft and others are reaching desperation point. What are they going to have in 10 years? Windows 20? Or Apple? Or Google? We lose with the cloud. We lose the ability to control our own information. And I haven't even talked about the NSA. I prefer to manage my own information thank you on my own hard drive. And I think smart phones are the dumbest idea ….ever…. except for the cloud. --Alden
Where do you stand on the subject? Do you have anything to add to the above concerning the risks vs. the rewards of cloud computing? Email me at [email protected]
One more thing. In the previous issue Cloudy Thinking, I pointed you to some articles I wrote for WindowsNetworking.com that demonstrate how to use Windows Intune, Microsoft's cloud-based systems management platform. Well, the cloud never stands still, and I just learned from Aidan Finn's blog that an updated version of Windows Intune has just been released that has some exciting new capabilities:
P2V and V2V
What a world. First we learn that mass can become energy and energy can become mass. Einstein taught us that in 1905:
Now in IT we learn that physical can become virtual and virtual can become physical. VMware demonstrated that in 2003:
Either way, it looks like everything will soon be one. How boring...
Of course, Einstein didn't always get it right. In particular, he is said to have once declared that compound interest is "the most powerful force in the universe" but EINSTEIN WAS CLEARLY WRONG as demonstrated by the following XKCD comic:
Anyways, to keep making money in the IT business you need to keep upgrading your skills, such as learning how to convert physical systems to virtual machines and vice versa, and that's the topic of this week's newsletter.
P2V with VMM
P2V is foundational for "moving to the cloud" as it means taking a physical server and converting it to a virtual machine. This can be done easily using Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) which is part of the Microsoft System Center family of products. For a good overview of the process, its requirements, and limitations, see this article in the TechNet Library:
And for a step by step procedure on how to perform P2V using VMM 2012, see the following article:
Also see this FAQ:
Occasionally something goes wrong when you do a P2V using VMM. For example, sometimes hosted devices will show up in Device Manager on the migrated system. These non-persistent devices may include ghosted processors, network adapters, USB devices, IDE controllers, RAID controllers, and so on. They can occasionally cause performance issues and can be removed using Devcon.exe as described in this post from the blog of Digital Engine Software:
Before you remove a device however, make sure it's really grayed out in Device manager.
The VMM P2V process may also occasionally fail with an error as these KB articles explain:
Note also that VMM does not support GPT disks on P2V targets, so to P2V a machine with a GPT disk you first have to convert the disk to MBR as described in this blog post:
Anyways, as you may infer from the above, the more complex your server environment, the more potential for problems occurring when performing P2V conversions. But on the whole the process is pretty straightforward and works most of the time.
P2V Migration for SA
What if you have Windows XP deployed and you want to migrate to Windows 7 but keep your XP systems around as virtual machines in case users need to access legacy applications that don't work on Windows 7? You can use the Microsoft P2V Migration for Software Assurance to do just that. P2V Migration for SA uses Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) together with Disk2vhd to convert existing Windows XP clients to VHDs and automates deployment of Windows 7 images that include a virtual machine containing the user’s Windows XP environment and applications. Learn more here:
P2V or V2V?
If you want to convert VMware virtual machines into Hyper-V virtual machines, VMM provides you with two options for doing this:
- You can use V2V which is a virtual-to-virtual process that converts VMware's VMDK format into Microsoft's VHD format. This is an offline process, so the VMware virtual machine has to be shut down to do this. Note also that performing a V2V using VMM requires that you have VMware vCenter deployed in your environment.
- You can use P2V which lets you convert a running VMware virtual machine into a Hyper-V virtual machine provided VMM can ping it on the network. And you don't need vCenter for this to work. It may seem funny that you can use P2V to convert a virtual machine to a virtual machine, but hey, virtual machines are machines too.
This TechNet Magazine article from awhile back has some good explanation concerning how these two processes differ:
And here's a TechNet Library article describing how the V2V process works:
VMware vCenter Converter
VMware provides a free tool you can use for performing P2V:
The tool can perform multiple P2V conversions simultaneously, and also lets you V2V a Hyper-V virtual machine to a VMware virtual machine. Ryan Birk has a helpful post on his Virtual Insanity blog that summarizes some best practices for performing P2V using VMware vCenter Converter:
If you want to do P2V manually, you can use the Disk2vhd utility from Windows Sysinternals:
Don't forget to install the Integration Services in the virtual machine after the workload has been migrated. You may also need to update the storage drivers in some cases. Here's a post on The Full Circle blog that shows how it's done:
Third-party P2V and V2P solutions
Among the different third-party V2P solutions available, Acronis has a good track record with their Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Sever Virtual Edition:
Platespin Migrate from NetIQ is highly recommended by several of my colleagues as one of the best P2V solutions avalable:
Double-Take Move from Vision Solutions lets you migrate both physical and virtual workloads:
And Citrix XenConvert can perform both P2V and V2P as well:
P2V of Linux servers
If you need to perform P2V conversions of Linux servers to either Hyper-V or VMware environments, you can always do it manually using the steps outlined in this blog post:
Or you can use a product like Platespin to do it more easily:
Tip of the Week
Got an application that you can't install on Windows 7 unless you first disable User Account Control (UAC) on the computer? Try launching the application's installer (.msi) from an elevated command prompt.
Got any tips to recommend to our readers? Let us know at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
This week we have two titles from Microsoft Press for SharePoint administrators:
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services shows you how to integrate data from different applications and databases so you can display, search, combine and modify the information using solutions built on SharePoint 2012:
Working with Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint demonstrates how to build custom, search-driven applications based on real-world examples:
Quote of the Week
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." --Muhammad Ali, quoted in "Tapped Out" by Matthew Polly.
Polly's book is a terrific read and the funnest MMA book I've read to date, check it out:
Until next week,
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Convert VMware virtual machines and VMDKs to Hyper-V virtual machines and VHDs using this free (and supported) tool from Microsoft:
Get Microsoft P2V Migration for Software Assurance from the Microsoft Download Center:
- Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 8-12, 2012 in Toronto, Canada:
- VMworld 2012 on August 27-30, 2012 in San Francisco, USA:
- Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 on Nov 12-15, 2012 in Las Vegas, USA.
- Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012 on June 26-29, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands:
- VMworld 2012 on October 9-11, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain:
- Microsoft Australia Partner Conference 2012 on Sept 4-6, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia:
Add your event
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.
Microsoft Office 365 In Action: Join Us For a Live Online Demo Presented by Tushaus Computer Services
Thursday, June 28, 2012 - Webcast and live online demo showing how the Office 365 suite of tools - including professional email, calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing - can transform the way you work:
This Week's Webcasts
- Tuesday June 26 - TechNet Webcast: Delivering an Enterprise Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Solution at the Speed of Business Using an Agile Methodology (Level 300)
- Tuesday June 26 - TechNet Webcast: Bare Metal to Private Cloud (Part 7 of 8): Installing and Configuring System Center 2012 - Orchestrator (Level 200)
- Tuesday June 26 - VMware Technical Webcast: How Adventist Health Systems Improved Disaster Recovery Time by 75 Percent and Achieved Cost Savings
- Wednesday June 27 - TechNet Webcast: Live! IT Time: Private Cloud Chat (Episode 8) (Level 200)
- Thursday June 28 - TechNet Webcast: Bare Metal to Private Cloud (Part 8 of 8): Integrating System Center 2012 (Level 200)
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.
CTP2 for System Center 2012 SP1 is now available
The second community technology preview of SP1 for System Center 2012 is now available for download:
Get Ready for Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012 with MAP 7.0 Beta
From the IT Pro Connection blog of Microsoft Canada comes details about the upcoming Microsoft Assessment & Planning (MAP) Toolkit 7.0:
Connecting with IPv6 in Windows 8
This post from the Building Windows 8 blog describes Windows 8 behavior on IPv4/v6 networks.
Getting started with Central Access Policies - Reducing security group complexity and achieving data access compliance using Dynamic Access Control
Getting frustrated by the proliferation of thousands of security groups in your Active Directory environment? Learn from the File & Storage blog how Central Access Policies, a new feature of Windows Server 2012, can greatly reduce the number of groups you need to create and manage:
Slow Boot Slow Logon (SBSL), A Tool Called XPerf and Links You Need To Read
We discussed this topic a few months ago in this newsletter in an issue called Lengthy Logons. Here's some more on this subject from the Ask Premier Field Engineering Platforms blog:
What's Causing that DFSR Change Storm?
This post from the Ask the Directory Services Team blog not only demonstrates how to troubleshoot an issue with Distributed File Services Replication but also is an excellent lesson on using troubleshooting tools like Process Monitor:
Windows Server News
Defining the right cloud SLA requirements up front
Cloud services can help you cut costs and respond quickly to demands, but only if you have an effective service-level agreement (SLA) in place. In this guide, learn expert tips that can help ensure you get the most from your cloud investment by and review the 10 principles of cloud SLA evaluation.
Five Desktop as a Service challenges holding up enterprise adoption
While (Desktop as a service DaaS) is desirable in theory, there are a number of challenges associated with hosted desktops that you should be aware of before going forward with adoption. Access this resource to explore the drawbacks of this model, including its licensing, security and connectivity issues.
Cloud management beyond the API
When it comes the cloud, management APIs – while important – are only one part of a long list of cloud management features. This exclusive resource explores other factors to consider and provides insights on the future of cloud management, including what to expect for orchestration tool offerings.
The extensible Hyper-V virtual switch: Finally catching up to VMware
IT professionals are buzzing about Microsoft’s upcoming Hyper-V virtual switch in Windows Server 2012 that will resolve the networking issues associated with their virtualization platform. In fact, they’ll soon be giving vSphere a run for its money! Check out this resource to learn more about what you can expect.
WServerNews FAVE Links
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Join surfer Kelia Moniz on a longboard session at beautiful Waikiki Beach:
The Mars One Project plans to establish human settlement on Mars by 2023.
A visual explanation of how the Internet actually works. Ride with a packet of data and follow it as it flows from your fingertips, through circuits, wires, and cables, to a host server, and then back again, all in less than a second.
Spanish furniture maker OHEA has introduced the world’s first automated bed that makes itself [Editor's Note: I want!]:
Spectacular footage of a Kiwirail train attempting to plow a route through "Arthur's Pass" New Zealand:
Can you predict what the dominant new technology will in 75 years? Belgian visionary Paul Otlet imagined the Internet in 1934!
WServerNews - Product of the Week
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.