Nested virtualization why should I care?

November 11, 2015

One thing I get asked a lot, is why I care so much about nested virtualization and the use case of such technology.

To understand nested virtualization we first need to look at traditional server virtualization.

Traditional Virtualization overview

In a traditional virtualization solution, the physical hardware is abstracted and presented to a guest operating system. The Virtual Machines (VM) are guests of the physical server and communicates with the physical hardware via the hypervisor.

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One physical server, hosts isolated Guest VMs

To provide high availability to the virtualizations solution we add clustering, Storage Area Networks (SAN) and duplicate of dependent peripheral configurations like network hardware and its configuration etc. The physical servers and attached configurations becomes a virtual datacenter that hosts the virtual machines. If we transition from one hypervisor vendor to another we need to convert the workload VMs to fit the new hypervisor. The conversion is sometimes a time-consuming and an expensive job that involves a lot of coordination.

This is something that we nowadays are quite familiar with.

Why nested virtualization then?

What if you wanted a copy of that configuration for testing or development purposes? How do you evolve and enhance your implementation? Do you have the possibility to test changes without impact to your production environment?

To install a virtual datacenter involves quite a lot of hardware that can be expensive and hard to move around.

You might need different configurations, developers for instance often have the need for many isolated environments with different settings. Building physical environments for each could be really expensive.

Nested Virtualization overview

In a nested virtualization solution, the physical hardware is abstracted and presented to a guest hypervisor VM as configurations. The guest hypervisor VM is a guest of the physical server.

The Guest VMs within the Guest hypervisor is unaware of the fact that the hypervisor is virtual and acts in the same way as if the hypervisor was installed in physical hardware.

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One physical server, hosts two separate hypervisors with separate isolated Guest VMs

To provide high availability to the virtualizations solution we use the same setup as in a traditional virtualization solution but we are able to emulate quite a lot of the periferal solutions such as SAN, Networks etc

Further possibilities with nested hypervisors

In a cloud solution, if a cloud vendor supports nested virtualization the format of the workload VM becomes irrelevant.

In a DevOps world the need to quickly build entire configurations becomes even more necessary. No more we can’t afford to have an expensive test environment J

What If we could build those configurations in Azure! the possibilities involved becomes mind blowing.

Microsoft Nested Virtualization

Microsoft has released a preview of nested virtualization in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565

At the moment only Windows 10, Hyper-V is possible to nest but I expect that to change in the near future. Imagine the Host Hypervisor in Image 2 as a Nano Server with Hyper-V. The Guest Workload VMs as Docker/Windows Containers and full OS VMs. The future looks really interesting J

How to get started

How do I start exploring the possibilities with nested virtualization?

First you need the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565.

Once you have installed it you need to enable Hyper-V, if you are unfamiliar with Client Hyper-V check out this MSDN article Hyper-V on Windows 10

Once you are done check out the article on how to enable Windows Insider Preview: Nested Virtualization

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clip_image004 In my lab I installed a Windows 10 host hypervisor with two Windows 10 Guest Hypervisors. Within each guest hypervisor I installed a Guest VM workload with Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3

I tried to get the nesting to work in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 as well but I get an error message in the event log and the Hyper V Service wont start. “This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)”

In a PPT from Microsoft https://t.co/ZqCkN16MIr the roadmap for System Center is reviled. The Windows Server 2016 Technical Previews has previously been released at the same time as System Center, so I hope I we will see Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 in November as well.

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Study guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409

May 20, 2014

Veeam are providing a “Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center

The guide is a 150 page pdf document that covers the exam objectives in 8 chapters.

You will learn about:

  • Virtual Machine Settings
  • Virtual machine storage
  • Hyper-V Virtual Networks and virtualization networking
  • Implementing virtual machines
  • Managing Virtualization Hosts and Infrastructure
  • Hyper-V Failover Clustering and Failover Clustering Roles
  • Virtual Machine Movement
  • Monitoring and disaster recovery

Attend TechEd 2014 in Houston, online!

May 8, 2014

TechEd Online

 
Yes you read it. This year it is possible to attend  Microsoft’s premier technology conference for IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers online. Well to some extent, as a trusted subscriber of the TechEd Insider Newsletter I just recived information that the following sessions will be Live streamed.

So come on what are you waiting for Register today and plan to join me for the LIVE stream May 12–15, 2014.

This is a perfect preperation for all the good stuff to come at TechEd Europe, 28-31 October in Barcelona, Spain.

I will be on twitter so lets connect and discuss the session during and afterwards, hashtag #msTechEdOnline

I will use the twitter hashtag mentioned below until other information is provided by TechEd staff.

Update from TechEd official blog:
TechEd 2014 LiveStream Details

Time Session ID
May 12 at 11-12 noon FDN02 Enabling Enterprise Mobility with Windows Intune, Microsoft Azure, and Windows Server
May 12 at 1:15-2:30pm DCIM-B318 Windows PowerShell Unplugged with Jeffrey Snover
May 12 at 3-4:15pm PCIT-B342 RemoteApp for Mobility and BYOD
May 12 at 4:45-6pm PCIT-B410 Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: MVP Experts Panel
May 13 at 8:30-9:45am DEV-B385 INTRODUCING: The Future of .NET on the Server
May 13 at 10:15-11:30am DEV-B411 DEEP DIVE: The Future of .NET on the Server
May 13 at 1:30-2:45pm WIN-B328 Group Policy: Notes from the Field – Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting
May 13 at 3:15-4:30pm PCIT-B318 Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Overview Session
May 13 at 5-6:15pm DCIM-B340 TWC: Sysinternals Primer: TechEd 2014 Edition
May 14 at 8:30-9:45am WIN-B335 Making Sense of the Microsoft Information Protection Stack
May 14 at 10:15-11:30am DCIM-B386 Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing
May 14 at 1:30-2:45pm DEV-B417 Entity Framework: Building Applications with Entity Framework 6
May 14 at 3:15-4:30pm DCIM-B418 Windows PowerShell Best Practices and Patterns: Time to Get Serious
May 14 at 5-6:15pm DCIM-B380 What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
May 15 at 8:30-9:45am WIN-B358 Real-World Windows 8.1 Deployment Notes from the Field
May 15 at 10:15-11:30am DEV-B362 Async Best Practices for C# #msTechEdOnlineand Visual Basic
May 15 at 1-2:15pm PCIT-B329 VDI Deployment Walkthrough
May 15 at 2:45-4pm WIN-B359 2014 Edition: How Many Coffees Can You Drink While Your PC Starts?

You know I be there…


Mark Your Calendars Thursday 17 Oct kl 13:00 CET The R2 Wave is Coming

October 16, 2013

I have read across twitter about the anticipation about Brad Andersons blog post,

Mark Your Calendars for Oct. 18: The R2 Wave is Coming!

But since I live in Europe I don’t have to wait that long Ler

Microsoft will start this off at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand that makes it Thursday 17 Oct kl 13:00 CET. So we in Europe have less then 24 hours to wait for the update.

Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 will be provided as a free update. If you have installed the preview of Windows 8.1 there will be no update, how ever my friend and collegue Niklas Åkerlund @vNiklas has made a blogpost that makes that possible. Upgrade Windows 8.1 preview to 8.1 RTM with some quirks

But there is more J that also marks the time where we can start expecting the download of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, as well as the latest update to Windows Intune!

Keep an eye on the TechNet Evaluation Center…

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You know I will!


Exiting times…

March 5, 2013

# 1 New job at Lumagate.

Lumagate is a consultant company that focuses on Systems Management and the tools provided by Microsoft in the System Center Suite.

# 2 The challenge is back #90days2MCSA

Michael Bender is at it again, this time the challenge is retrieving the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in 90 days. Microsoft Learning has already shared some created some awesome resources like the Microsoft Certification Study Groups.

MSFT_Study_GRP

There will be more, so make sure you check the Born 2 Learn web site and follow Michael Bender @MichaelBender, Microsoft Learning @MSLearning and the hash tag #90Days2MCSA on Twitter.

I will have a go at this, I just need to pass one exam the the upgrade exam 70-417, that exam has no forum or Wiki ATM but the test is built on the 410, 411 and 412 exams so there will be plenty of information.

Another great resource for the upgrade exam is the Windows Server 2012 Upgrade Jump Start with Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Rick Claus and Ed Liberman from TrainSignal

# 3 New Lab equipment

I ordered some hardware to build me a new lab. I will cover the build process in a blog post in a couple of days.

The lab contains of two identical boxes containing:
SHUTTLE XPC SH67H3 S-1155 300W
CORSAIR 32GB DDR3 XMS3 1333MHZ CL9 (4X8GB)
INTEL CORE I5 2320 3.0GHZ 6MB S-1155
OCZ AGILITY 3 2.5″ 120GB SSD SATA/600 MLC
WD GREEN 3.5″ 2TB SATA/600 64MB

# 4 Microsoft TechEd North America

The 90 days challenge ends just in time for the TechEd conference in New Orleans. To start studying on a topic before a major conference like TechEd is a really good idea that will help you get even more knowledge out of the conference.
It is hard to beat the opportunity to get answers from the Microsoft guys and girls behind the products directly from the hoses mouth. 

If you haven’t registered check it out.
TechEd North America 2013 
Register now and save $300

TechEd Europe 2013
Register now and save €300

All of this along with my new lab equipment will make sure to keep me busy for many nights to come.


Create a MCSA Windows Server 2012 study guide.

October 18, 2012

MCSA_AchievedStepWindServ2012

You can create your own study guide to help you prepare for an exam quite easy.

I will use the Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012, 70-417 exam as an example but it can easily be changed to any other exam or topic.

A nice feature of TechNet is the ability to Print Multiple Topics.

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You can create a collection of articles in the TechNet Library and print them or save them as HTML or PDF files which comes in handy when studying.

Collect your information

Lets start with the first part of the Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012, Skills Measured.

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Broken down and some search of the topics on TechNet the section could look like this:
Exam 70-410
Install and Configure Servers (25%)

Install Servers.

Creating the guide

Now lets use that information and create the first part of the MCSA Windows Server 2012 study guide.

The first topic is Plan for a server installation. Click the link above and a new window starts. In the upper right corner you’ll find teh icons for Preferences and Print/Export

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Click the printer icon to get the option to select Print This Topic and Print Multiple Topics, select Print Multiple Topics.

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The link redirects you to the Print/Export Multiple Topics – Help page where you get information on the feature.

Click Start to continue.

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Click Add This Topic

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Continue with the other 5 topics and the first collection is complete.

click Collection

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In this view you can re-arrange and rename the content of the collection.

The result could look something like this.

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In the the Export Your Collection field you can choose to export your collection as HTML or PDF

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Now you can continue to add the topics into a larger one…

I’m currently in the middle of reading mine.

Hey wait a minute, got another great resouce to in cas you missed is. The Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs in case you need some time away from the theory.

See you around in binary space. 😉


The private IT-Camp, education cloud. IT Camps On-Demand – Part 2 – A Camp of my own

October 17, 2012

As a said in my article IT Camps On-Demand I work as a consultant and attending the IT Camps in Sweden has been hard for me.

Any way, I saw a tweet by Niklas Åkerlund aka @vNiklas that got me interested.

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@vNiklas: Labs | virtuallycloud9 http://t.co/ipTN3GLi #win2012 #winserv #hyperv

Tommy Patterson, @Tommy_Patterson another IT Pro evangelist has published information on his website virtuallycloud9 that provides the instructions for the IT Camp HOL

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The two recourses combined gives the possibility to create an IT Camp of your own.

So whats holding you back, lets start building your own IT-Camp.

You know I do!