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Archive for December 2009

System Center Operations Manager Updates

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Kevin Holman (Microsoft Engineer from Microsoft) posted a list of System Center Microsoft Operations Manager Hotfixes and recommendations that you may want to look at.
His table appears to be updated as needed.
Don’t forget to read the recommendations and the additional links on his post:

Which hotfixes should I apply?

Written by IT Core

December 23, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Operations Manager 2007 agents consume 100 % of CPU resources

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You may notice that the Monitoringhost.exe process is consuming a lot of CPU resources in your system, here it’s some of the possible solutions for that problem:

– Make Sure that you have the latest version of the AntiVirus Software installed and you don’t have Script Scan enabled.
– Exclude the “System Center Operations Manager 2007\Health Service State” and schedule from Antivirus scanning.
– Make sure that the Windows Script 5.7 is there in your system

Windows Script 5.7 for Windows Server 2003
Windows Script 5.7 for Windows XP
Windows Script 5.7 for Windows 2000

Also check those KBs:

Additionally Read: System Center Operations Manager Updates

Note: If you restart the OpsMgr HealthService, the problem may go away, and might not return for days or weeks, but there’s a good chance to return again if you don’t fix it.

Written by IT Core

December 23, 2009 at 12:51 AM

How to P2V with Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and 2008 R2 Part 2

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If you miss part 1 of this series, please check it here.

Now that we already know the minimum requirements to run P2V conversions, let’s check what additional steps we need to perform in order to get our physical computer converted to virtual.

I recommend that you run the VMMCA (Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and 2008 R2 Configuration Analyzer) before starting the process, this diagnostic tool will determine important pre-installation or post-installation configuration settings for computers that either might serve or are serving Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) roles or other VMM functions. You should use this version of the VMMCA with VMM 2008 and VMM 2008 R2 only. All steps performed by VMMCA are described in detail here.

After you run the scan, the output should be similar to:

Now that we run the VMMCA and the output report shows “No configuration issues found” is time to open the Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console, in the Actions pane in any view, click Convert physical server to open the Convert Physical Server Wizard.

On the following screen enter the computer name or IP address, an Account with local Administrator rights in the source computer. If the computer account that you’re using is a local account, then change the “Domain or computer name” to the machine’s name and click Next.

On the next screen enter the Virtual Machine Name and the proper owner, additionally you may enter some words for description for the new VM, then click Next.

On the next screen “System Information“, click “Scan System”  and the P2V agent is installed on the remote physical system with the credentials provided before and gathers the source computer’s hardware and software configuration (You can consult detailed information for this process here). After that, hit the Next button.

The Volume Configuration page will allow you to define the disk size (cannot be smaller than the existing one), the VHD type (Dynamic or Fixed), the controller channel and type (IDE or SCSI). Under conversion options you can choose between Online and Offline conversions, you can also decide either to shutdown or not the source computer after finishing the P2V process. In this scenario I’ll choose the Offline Conversion type. Make your required modifications and then click Next.

On the Offline Conversion Options page (assuming that you choose Offline Conversion), You’ll have to decide if you want to use DHCP or a Fixed IP Address. If using DHCP, make sure that the SCVMM can solve the DNS name of the source computer to the correct IP provided by the DHCP server. Make your required modifications and then click Next.

On the next screen “Virtual Machine Configuration” you can modify the settings for vCPU and Memoryto be configured in the final VM. For a Windows 2000 server, remember that only a single processor configuration is supported. Make your required modifications and then click Next.

On the Select Host page, select between the available hosts which are ranked based on performance and available capacity for this virtual machine. The hosts are ranked using a star ranking with the recommended host at the top of the list. Select the Hyper-V host or the Virtual Server where you want to place the new virtual machine and then click Next.

On the Select Path page, select an available drive with sufficient space to allocate the new VHD, also consider future snapshots and additional growth for additional VHD files if required. The host that I selected is a Hyper-V R2 node member of a Hyper-V R2 cluster with CSV enabled, in this scenario I’ll need to select the mount point that is created under C:\ClusterStorage\Volume(x). Select your drive and then click Next.

On the Select Networks page, select an available VSwitch that was previously created in the Hyper-V or Virtual Server Host Server. If you’re converting a Domain Controller you may want to check Not Connected in order to prevent unwanted network communications until you have verified everything is working correctly. Make your required modifications and then click Next.

On the Additional Properties page, select the Automatic Stop and Start actions you prefer and then click Next.

On the Conversion Information page, Confirm that the message No issues detected appears. If any issues are reported by the wizard those must be address before the conversion can continue. Each issue in the list explains how to resolve the issue. After resolving all issues, click Check Again to check for additional issues. When no issues are detected, click Next to continue.

On the Summary page, review the configuration settings. To change settings, click Previous. Optionally, click View Script to view (and copy) the Windows PowerShell script that runs this wizard and performs the conversion. All administrative tasks in VMM can be scripted or performed at the command line. For more information, see Scripting. Optionally, select the Start the virtual machine after deploying it on the host check box. Click Create to create the virtual machine.

The end Result should be similar to this:

Great job 🙂


Written by IT Core

December 20, 2009 at 7:23 PM

How to P2V with Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and 2008 R2 Part 1

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As you may know Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) allows you to convert existing physical computers into virtual machines using P2V (physical-to-virtual). Most of the times the task-based wizard will be used because automates much of the conversion process, but since the P2V process is completely scriptable, you can take advantage of it to initiate large scale P2V conversions using Windows Power Shell  (in this post we’ll look at P2V using the GUI).

Let’s look at both (Online & Offline) conversions type and their differences:

Online P2V: This type of conversion runs with the source computer online and no reboot is required. During the conversion process the P2V agent acts like an backup requester using the VSS (Shadow Copy Service) for volumes and applications VSS aware. This process also ensures that the physical computer doesn’t “suffer” regarding to resources consumption with the P2V task, the computer continues to perform the tasks that it is expected to perform during normal operations.

Offline P2V: The conversion begins after the computer is booted with WinPE, which means that the source computer to be virtualized is NOT available during the entire conversion, the advantage of it, is that a consistent image will be taken from the source computer without the need to have applications that are VSS aware nor you’ll have the need to stop services and their dependencies that’s why Offline P2V is considered the most reliable method for converting physical computers to a virtual machines without potential data loss. For offline conversions, be prepared to supply NIC and mass storage drivers that are compatible with Windows Vista. VMM will evaluate the source physical computer and compare it with the drivers included in Windows PE and provide instructions on adding drivers on the source computer.

Before starting the P2V conversions  let’s check the Hardware and Software requirements:

Source Machine:
– Must have at least 512 MB of RAM.
– Must have an Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS – Vista WinPE will not install on a non-ACPI BIOS.
– Must be accessible by SCVMM and by the Host computer.
– If performing Offline conversions, the P2V agent will identify any additional drivers or updates that may be needed (These drivers must be Vista compatible because the WinPE will run under Vista OS).
Cannot be in a perimeter network (DMZ, demilitarized zone, screened subnet) where the firewalls or IPSec settings prohibit communication.

Operating System VMM 2008 VMM 2008 R2
Windows NT 4 (You can use the Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit (VSMT) or third-party solutions for converting computers running Windows NT Server 4.0.) No No
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server (Standard and Advanced) with Service Pack 4 (SP4) or later (offline P2V only) Yes (Offline P2V only) Yes (Offline P2V only)
Windows XP Professional (32Bit and 64Bit) with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 (Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter Edition-32-bit and 64 Bit) Yes (With SP1 or later) Yes (With SP2 or later)
Windows Server 2003 Web Edition Yes Yes
Windows Small Business Server 2003 Yes Yes
Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-Bit) Yes (With SP1 or later) Yes (With SP1 or later)
Windows Server 2008 (Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter – 32-Bit and 64-Bit) Yes Yes
Windows 7 (32Bit and 64-Bit) No Yes
Windows Server 2008 R2 (Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter) No Yes
Itanium architecture–based operating systemsBottom of Form No No


Requirements for the Destination Host Server:
– The destination host cannot be in a perimeter network.
– Must have sufficient memory for the new  virtual machine plus the memory reserved for the host operating system (256 MB in VMM 2008 or 512 MB in VMM 2008 R2).
– Sufficient Storage to allocate the new VHD to be created from the source.

Virtualization Software:
Virtual Server R2 SP1
Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V
Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V 

Security Settings:
– Must have an account member of the local Administrators in the Source computer.
– Verify that no firewalls or IPSec policies prevent communication between the source computer and SCVMM on the management channel (on WMI or the SMB protocol) or between the source computer and the destination host on the data channel (TCP port 443 by default – SCVMM 2008 R2 will begin with port 40443).
– The VMM agent Windows Installer creates a firewall exception for remote administration (RemoteAdmin service) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) port. These exceptions are removed when the VMM agent is removed at the end of the P2V process. The HTTPS port default is TCP 443 and 40443 for SCVMM 2008 R2.

An example of P2V conversion.


During a P2V conversion, the participating computers communicate over the following protocols:
– Destination host and the source computer: HTTPs (443 or 40443 for VMM 2008 R2). The 40443 is initiated by default in SCVMM 2008 R2, but this is not the case for SCVMM 2008. To avoid port conflicts with P2V agent you can STOP the service that is running in port 443 in the Source machine or change the default port used by Virtual Machine Manager for P2V (create the registry DWORD key: “HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\Settings\P2VBITSTcpPort” and enter the number of the port that you want to use on the VMM server. The port number must be smaller than 32768. Restart the VMM service.)
SCVMM server and the P2V agent on the source computer: WMI
SCVMM server and the destination host: WS-Management (Windows Remote Management –  WinRM)
– Data is transferred directly between the source computer and the destination host over HTTPs. Machine configuration and P2V parameters are exchanged between the source computer and VMM over WMI.

In P2V Online conversions the source physical machine doesn’t need to be rebooted, but you should be careful with the apps that you run on that computer and make sure that they’re VSS aware, if those applications are not VSS aware you should disable or stop them before attempt to do an Online P2V.

Offline P2V is more clean regarding to data consistency, this is achieved  because the source computer data is copied while it is not in use.
Remember:  offline P2V is the only option to convert Windows 2000 Servers and computers with Non-NTFS volumes, this process is also highly recommend for domain controllers so you don’t run into USN Rollback issues.
Unlike online conversions, the user must provide any missing drivers if Windows PE does not support the source computer

In part 2 we’ll cover the P2V migration steps.

Additional related Links:
P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM
Frequently Asked Questions: P2V and V2V Conversions in VMM
Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit

Written by IT Core

December 20, 2009 at 6:23 PM

HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 available for download

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The HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 is an automated, downloadable tool that provides quick and helpful sizing guidance for “best-fit” HP server and storage configurations running in a Hyper-V R2 environment. The tool is intended to assist with the planning of a Hyper-V R2 virtual server deployment project. It enables the user to quickly compare different solution configurations and produces a customizable server and storage solution complete with a detail Bill of Materials (BOM) that includes part numbers and prices.

The HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 allows users to create new solutions, open already existing solutions, or use other types of performance data collecting tools, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool (MAP), to build rich Hyper-V R2 configurations based on HP server and storage technology. The tool allows rapid comparison of Hyper-V R2 characterizations using various HP server and storage choices.

Download it here

Written by IT Core

December 19, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Welcome to IT Core Blog

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Welcome to IT Core Blog!

First of all Thank you for taking the time to visit IT Core blog.
I’ll be using this blog to share experience, thoughts and news about IT world with you.

The IT Core main focus will be related with Microsoft technology server products, but I’ll spend some time blogging about other technologies as well. Hopefully other IT pros will find in this blog some solutions and suggestions about IT problems, additionally I’ll also share Utilities/Tools that may lead them to the solution of problems that they may experience with MS products. I’ll will also import some relevant articles that I have in my previous blog into this one so you don’t have search in two different places.

That’s all for now, enjoy and comment…
Don’t forget to read SrvCore-IT Core Disclaimer page 😀

Written by IT Core

December 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

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