As I’ve alluded to a few times in this blog, over the last few months I’ve led the consultancy and system design for a SharePoint 2007/2010 development environment built on Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2. This series of six posts will reveal the key decisions and will consolidate recommendations from a broad range of research and guidance. This first post offers a technology-agnostic introduction to the problem, pros and cons of alternative approaches and what we hoped to achieve with the new approach. The design decisions will be covered in more detail in the second post, followed by a deeper look at detailed build guidance. Continue reading “Building a SharePoint 2007/2010 development environment — Part I: Introduction and Objectives”
Further to my post from a few months ago on the this topic (dating back to the RC build), I’ve seen this same problem a few more times on the RTM build of Windows Server 2008 R2. My suggested approach still fixes the problem and it doesn’t recur, but I’ve still not been able to pin down a cause and I can find no documentation on host machine MAC assignments anywhere. Continue reading “More on routine loss of external network connectivity on Hyper-V hosts (not guests)”
The public beta of DPM 2010 is now available, with major improvements to virtualisation support and agents for other beta technologies like SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010. I hope to test drive it soon. These are two features that are particularly appealing:
Item Level Recovery from host level backup: DPM 2010 Beta supports item level recovery (ILR) which allows you to do granular recovery of files and folders, volumes and virtual hard disks (VHD) from a host level backup of Hyper-V VMs to a network share or a volume on a DPM protected server.
Alternate Host Recovery: DPM 2010 Beta supports alternate location recovery (ALR) which allows you to recover a Hyper-V VM to an alternate stand-alone or clustered Hyper-V host.
And this general improvement:
You will see far fewer “Replica Inconsistent” errors and many of them will automatically get fixed by Auto-Rerun, Auto-CC (Consistency Check).
Note: this original KB article from which this guidance was taken has now been removed. Please see the comments below for more information.
I recently posted about the Conflicting Microsoft guidance on IPv6. While you can remove IPv6 from a NIC on a full installation of Windows Server 2008 by un-ticking the IPv6 box in the NIC properties (satisfying the Hyper-V performance guidance), you may have noticed that there’s no obvious way to disable IPv6 in server core or Hyper-V Server. If you looked in to it in a bit more detail you may have noticed a registry “fix” for this. Personally I’m always a bit skeptical of registry fixes until I see Microsoft recommending them, but now Tonyso has posted a link to a Microsoft KB article that endorses this approach (when necessary):
To completely disable IPv6 on a Windows Server 2008-based computer yourself, follow these steps:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Locate the following registry subkey:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpip6Parameters
- In the details pane, click New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Type DisabledComponents, and then press ENTER.
- Double-click DisabledComponents, and then type 0xffffffff in Hexadecimal or 4294967295 in Decimal.Note The 0xffffffff value or the 4294967295 value disables all IPv6 components except for the IPv6 loopback interface.
A reboot is required before the change will take effect.
Dell announced today that they are releasing Alienware and Studio laptops with Intel Core i7 processors. Why is this worth regurgitating? The Core i7 processors feature the Nehalem processor microarchitecture, which means that Hyper-V V2 (in Windows Server 2008 R2) can take advantage of SLAT (Second Level Address Translation). SLAT is implemented as EPT (Extended Paging Tables) in Intel technology and NPT (Nested Paging Tables) for AMD. Here’s Microsoft’s summary of the new Hyper-V support for SLAT: Continue reading “Hyper-V graphics performance is on the way… if you need a new laptop”
While I’ve been ripping off Virtual PC Guy I may as well stay at it. He has a great tip in his geeking out with WDS post suggesting that custom installation images can be built up in a virtual machine and captured from virtual rather than capturing the physical build. This allows for ongoing maintenance of the build without worrying about capturing the same image multiple times by taking a snapshot before SysPrep. It’s a great suggestion.
I’d actually geared myself up for this approach with the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM, since Windows Deployment Services supports deployment of VHDs now, but I deflated myself a bit when I realised this was only a means of deploying for native boot from VHD rather than deploying a VHD to hardware as though it was a captured WIM. When I figured this out I went back to capturing physical images, and blindly overlooked this option. Nice one!
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’ve built a Windows Server 2008 R2 (with Hyper-V) laptop for SharePoint development but I haven’t mentioned one of the only major gripes that I’ve not been able to solve – namely that graphics-intensive operations bring the system to a halt. This is particularly noticeable when audio is playing and you launch a new program while Hyper-V is exporting (as if you have a sonic performance metric), or (to use the Microsoft example) when pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
Until the other day I had always chalked this up to something about this driver (an NVIDIA GeForce 8400 M GS on a Dell XPS M1330) and the Hyper-V role or Server 2008 R2 itself (since we didn’t have this problem with the same driver on Windows 7). However, one of our technical architects got a bit more annoyed by this than me and identified that it’s a known issue for almost every graphics driver on 64-bit-capable laptops. Continue reading “Hyper-V graphics performance and SharePoint 2010 development”
We’ve recently been piloting a laptop developer build on Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (Build 7100) with the Hyper-V role. One of the first receipients of this build complained of connectivity problems in Office Communicator once every minute or two. For as-yet undiagnosed reasons we have lengthy sign-in times for Communicator, so this loss of connectivity rendered it completely unusable. This same problem was visible in Outlook, although less disruptive since we use Cached Exchange Mode. Both Exchange and the OCS server are hosted but we also noticed the problem with interrupted file transfers so it clearly wasn’t just an internet connectivity issue. It looked like something to do with the NIC, the cable or a network device.
Port ‘SWITCHPORT-SM-F277C685-E5F8-490D-8CD1-913B854FABD2-0-1′ was prevented from using MAC address ’00-15-C5-7E-EB-39’ because it is pinned to port ‘SWITCHPORT-SM-F277C6’. Continue reading “Routine loss of connectivity on a Hyper-V host’s external connection”
About a year ago John Howard published guidance on how to get Hyper-V Manager to connect to Hyper-V servers over VPN. His network monitoring and suggestion to change the VPN connection IP settings so that the VPN adapter registers the machine’s new address in DHCP/DNS went a long way towards fixing the issue for me – however, we recently uncovered a couple of caveats as detailed in the comments on his original post. Continue reading “Hyper-V Manager over VPN may fail if the server is VMM-managed”
Or… why it’s important to disable Host Time Synchronisation on a domain controller.
A few months ago I reminded myself of a major gotcha when planning a virtual infrastructure. Assume that you run more than one domain in more than one forest and that trusts are in place to authenticate users across those forests. This could be a development/test/staging environment, or as will no doubt be more common in the coming years, it could be a virtualised infrastructure. Continue reading “Windows Time, the PDC Emulator and the VM”