Hyper-V: Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 from Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V

In the following post I will describe three methods for upgrading from Windows Server R2 from Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V. The methods described here are covered in MS Support KB 957256. After listing the methods I will describe why I prefer one of the methods.


Before you upgrade.


The upgrade process is not complex however you need to be careful. An important first step is to bring all of your virtual machines into a single state. You should review each virtual machine and establish a clean VM to be migrated. This VM must be in a shut down state. Your snapshots leading up to the current state must be merged since snapshots are not fully compatible.


Method 1


Perform an in-place upgrade of the parent partition from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Note During the upgrade, the compatibility report will inform you that you must remove the Hyper-V role by using Server Manager before you continue with the upgrade. This is not necessary. However, before you continue with the upgrade, note the following:


  • All virtual machines must be shut down before the upgrade. The Saved States feature is incompatible between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. If the parent partition is upgraded with any virtual machines in a saved state, you must right-click the virtual machine, and then click Discard saved state to turn on the virtual machine.
  • Because the Snapshot functionality uses the Saved States feature, Snapshots are not fully compatible between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Virtual machines will start successfully to the snapshot that was applied when the virtual machine was shut down before the upgrade. This is denoted in Hyper-V Manager by the green arrow under the snapshot that points to Now.

    To turn on the virtual machine with any other snapshot, follow these steps:

    Note The following steps assume that you have to continue using all snapshots configured for the virtual machine. If you no longer require snapshots, you can delete your snapshots by using Hyper-V Manager, and then shut down the virtual machine for the data to merge with the parent virtual hard disk.
    1. Using Hyper- V Manager, right-click the snapshot that you want to apply, and then click Take Snapshot and Apply. This action will take a new snapshot from the currently applied snapshot. This new snapshot will now be compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2. If you select this option, any changes that you may have made to the state of the virtual machine since the last start will be saved.
    2. After the new snapshot is taken, the virtual machine will go into a saved state. Right-click the virtual machine, and then click Delete saved state.
    3. Turn on the virtual machine.
    4. When the virtual machine has started, repeat these steps until there is a single snapshot remaining.
    5. When you have reached the last snapshot, take a new snapshot to capture the current state of the virtual machine to have a Windows Server 2008 R2-compatible snapshot.
  • After the upgrade, update the Integration Services. To do this, open the Virtual Machine Connection window, and then click Insert Integration Services Setup Disk on the Action menu.

    Note On a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer, the Integration Services for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be listed in Programs and Features as “KB955484″.

Method 2


Migrate to another server: Export a virtual machine from a Windows Server 2008 server that has Hyper-V enabled, and then import it to a server that has Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V enabled.

Note The virtual machine must be shut down before you export it. If you exported the virtual machine with a saved state, you cannot restore the virtual machine on Windows Server 2008 R2. To start the virtual machine after you import it to Windows Server 2008 R2, you must discard the saved state before you can turn on the virtual machine.

If the virtual machine has snapshots, these snapshots must be merged before the export or you must use the steps from Method 1 to recover and re-create the snapshots.

After you import the virtual machine, update the Integration Services. To do this, open the Virtual Machine Connection window, and then click Insert Integration Services Setup Disk on the Action menu.

Note On a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer, the Integration Services for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be listed in Programs and Features as “KB955484″.


Method 3


Backup and Restore to new server: To use backup software that uses the Hyper-V VSS Writer, back up a virtual machine that is running on Windows Server 2008, and then restore it to Windows Server 2008 R2.

After you restore the virtual machine, update the Integration Services. To do this, open the Virtual Machine Connection window, and then click Insert Integration Services Setup Disk on the Action menu.

Note On a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer, the Integration Services for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be listed in Programs and Features as “KB955484″. 


My Preference


Although Method 3 might take the longest it provides a number of safe guards. 


  1. It ensures you have a proper backup strategy.
  2. It tests your backup strategy with little or no consequense.
  3. You have a fall back position to the original server which is not altered during the process.
  4. It simplifies the process of cleaning up the snapshots since the backup sees only one consistent state of the VM.
  5. In any other of the three methods you should have a complete back up.

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

EBS Fix GAL address lookup TMG

When using OWA (internally or externally in this situation), when one either chooses to search the Global Address List or pages forward from the first 50 members of the list, OWA searches for a few moments and then returns the error: “Could not connect to a directory server.  If the problem continues, contact technical support for your organization.” 

This is a known issue and can be resolved using the following method.


To resolve this issue, either use Outlook lite (I did not actually try this) or, in the TMG Firewall Outlook Web Access publishing rule, go to the Link Translation tab and uncheck the “Apply link translation to this rule” check box and apply the changes.  Wait for a few minutes and the GAL should be fully searchable. 




Special thanks to Michael Hensley for the screenshot and Ken for the Solution.


Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Best Kept Secret – VHD Native Support in Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

Have you seen this? WOW.




Native support for VHD disks offers huge potential. Think about creating Dual and Tripple boot systems with everything containted in one file per OS. Think about Back up to VHD… think about mounting VHDs for native read write in an OS and then sharing them with a Virtualized OS. This about syspreping an imaged OS for use across your network!


Think about it and tell me you are not trying to reattach your jaw,,,


Big Secret… now you know.


Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 is the newest Windows Server operating system from Microsoft. Designed to help organizations reduce operating costs and increase efficiencies, Windows Server 2008 R2 provides enhanced management control over resources across the enterprise. It is designed to provide better energy efficiency and performance by reducing power consumption and lowering overhead costs. It also helps provide improved branch office capabilities, exciting new remote access experiences, streamlined server management, and expands the Microsoft virtualization strategy for both client and server computers.


Powerful Hardware and Scaling Features
Windows Server 2008 R2 was designed to perform as well or better for the same hardware base as Windows Server 2008. In addition, R2 is the first Windows Server operating system to move solely to a 64-bit architecture.


Windows Server 2008 R2 also has several CPU-specific enhancements. First, this version expands CPU support to enable customers to run with up to 256 logical processors. R2 also supports Second Level Translation (SLAT), which enables R2 to take advantage of the Enhanced Page Tables feature found in the latest AMD CPUs as well as the similar Nested Page Tables feature found in Intel’s latest processors. The combination enables R2 servers to run with much improved memory management.


Components of Windows Server 2008 R2 have received hardware boosts as well. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 can now access up to 32 logical CPUs on host computers—twice Hyper-V’s initial number of supported CPUs. This capability not only takes advantage of new multicore systems, it also means greater virtual machine consolidation ratios per physical host.


Reduced Power Consumption
Windows Server 2008 introduced a ‘balanced’ power policy, which monitors the utilization level of the processors on the server and dynamically adjusts the processor performance states to limit power to the needs of the workload. Windows Server 2008 R2 enhances this power saving feature by adding Core Parking and expanding on power-oriented Group Policy settings.


Active Directory Domain Services Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 already gave administrators a certain amount of control over power management on client PCs. These capabilities are enhanced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows® 7 to provide even more precise control in more deployment scenarios for even greater potential savings.


Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 also holds the much-anticipated update to Microsoft’s virtualization technology, Hyper-V. The new Hyper-V was designed to augment both existing virtual machine management as well as to address specific IT challenges, especially around server migration.


Hyper-V is an enabling technology for one of Windows Server 2008 R2’s marquee features, Live Migration. With Hyper-V version 1.0, Windows Server 2008 was capable of Quick Migration, which could move VMs between physical hosts with only a few seconds of down-time. Still, those few seconds were enough to cause difficulties in certain scenarios, especially those including client connections to VM-hosted servers. With Live Migration, moves between physical targets happen in milliseconds, which means migration operations become invisible to connected users.


Customers employing System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Hyper-V will also enjoy additional management and orchestration scenarios, including a new VM-oriented Performance and Resource Optimization feature and updated support for managing failover clusters.


The new Hyper-V also has core performance enhancements, including the previously mentioned ability to take advantage of up to 64 logical processors and ramp up CPU performance with host support for Second Level Translation (SLAT). Finally, VMs can also add and remove VHD disks without requiring a reboot and also boot from VHD as well.


Reduce Desktop Costs with VDI
Much of the interest in virtualization solutions is in the server world. However, equally exciting advances are being made in presentation virtualization, where processing happens on a server optimized for capacity and availability while graphics, keyboard, mouse, and other user I/O functions are handled at the user’s desktop.


Windows Server 2008 R2 contains enhanced Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) technology, which extends the functionality of Terminal Services to deliver certain business programs to their employee’s remote desktops. With VDI, programs that Remote Desktop Services sends to a computer are now available on the Start menu right alongside programs that are locally installed. This approach provides improved desktop virtualization and better application virtualization.


Desktop virtualization will benefit from features including improved personalization management, a near-invisible integration of virtualized desktops and applications in Windows 7, better audio and graphics performance, a seriously cool Web access update and more. VDI provides more efficient use of virtualized resources and better integration with local peripheral hardware as well as powerful new virtual management features.


Easier and More Efficient Server Management
Although increasing the capabilities of your server operating system is always a good thing, the perceived downside has always been additional complexity and workload for day-to-day server managers. Windows Server 2008 R2 specifically addresses this problem with lots of work evident across all of its management-oriented consoles. Features in these tools include:


Improved data center power consumption and management, as evidenced earlier


Improved remote administration, including a remotely-installable Server Manager


Improved identity management features via the updated and simplified Active Directory Domain Services and Active Directory Federated Services


Windows Server 2008 R2 also improves on the popular PowerShell feature introduced in Windows Server 2008. PowerShell 2.0 significantly enhances the earlier version with the inclusion of more than 240 new pre-built cmdlets as well as a new graphical user interface (GUI) that adds professional-level development features for creating new cmdlets. The new GUI includes colored syntaxing, new production script debugging capabilities, and new testing tools.


Managing Data, Not just Managing Storage
Managing storage isn’t just about managing disks. Storage volume is increasing at a 51% compounded annual growth rate between 2008 and 2012, according to IDC. To keep pace and stay competitive, organizations must begin managing data, not just disks. Windows Server 2008 R2 gives IT administrators the tools for precisely this kind of initiative with the new File Classification Infrastructure (FCI). This new features builds an extensible and automated classification mechanism on top of existing shared file architectures; this enables IT administrators to direct specific actions for specific files based on entirely customizable classification. FCI is also extensible to partners, which means Windows Server 2008 R2 users can expect to see additional capabilities around FCI from ISVs in the near future.


Ubiquitous Remote Access
Today’s mobile workforce is increasing the demand on IT to provide remote access to corporate resources. However, managing remote computers is an ongoing challenge, with low wide area network (WAN) bandwidth and sporadic connection and re-connection processes interfering with lengthier desktop management tasks such as Group Policy changes and up-to-date patching.


Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a new type of connectivity called DirectAccess—a powerful way for remote users to seamlessly access corporate resources without requiring a traditional VPN connection and client software. Using technologies that shipped in Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has added simple management wizards that enable administrators to configure SSTP and IPv6 across both R2 and Windows 7 clients to enable the basic DirectAccess connection, and then augment that connection with additional R2 management and security tools, including management policies and NAP.


With DirectAccess, every user is considered remote all of the time. Users are no longer required to distinguish between local and remote connections. DirectAccess handles all of these distinctions in the background. IT professionals retain precise access control and full perimeter security, helping to ease both desktop security and management headaches on both sides of the connection.


Improved Branch Office Performance and Management
Many branch office IT architectures have relatively low bandwidth. Slow WAN links impact the productivity of branch office employees waiting to access content from the main office, and costs for branch office bandwidth allocation can amount to as much as 33 percent of overall corporate IT spending. To address this challenge, Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a feature called BranchCache, which reduces WAN utilization and improves the responsiveness of network applications.


With BranchCache, clients who request access to data on the organization’s network are sent directions to the file on the local (branch office) network if the file has ever been requested there before. If the file is stored locally, those clients get immediate high-speed access. Such files can be stored either on a local BranchCache server for larger branch offices or simply on local Windows 7 PCs.


Simplified Management for SMBs
With Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is focusing more attention at the SMB and mid-market customer. This new focus provides these customers with a rich landscape of Microsoft product offerings, from Small Business Server up to Windows Essential Business Server and now Windows Server 2008 Standard. All SKUs are being outfitted with new management tools to make SMB IT pro life easier.


Active Directory’s new Active Directory Administration Center is one example—all those disparate management GUIs now hosted in a single interface and all based on PowerShell. Additionally, there are the Best Practice Analyzers, which Microsoft has extended to every server role to keep all your server configs in sync with the latest know-how. And last but not least, there’s the Windows Server Backup utility. Long a second-class citizen, this in-the-box backup app has been significantly upgraded to include more granular support for designing backup jobs, including support for system state operations; and, it’s been optimized to run both faster and to use less disk space.


There’s also the new Windows Server Backup utility. Microsoft has significantly upgraded this in-the-box backup application to include more granular support for designing backup jobs, including support for system state operations. And it’s been optimized to run faster and to use less disk space.


The Strongest Web and Application Server To Date
Windows Server 2008 R2 includes many updates that make it the best Windows Server application platform yet, but one of the most important is the new Internet Information Services 7.5 (IIS 7.5).


The updated Web server includes features that streamline management by extending IIS Manager, implementing the IIS PowerShell Provider and taking advantage of .NET on Server Core. IIS 7.5 also integrates new support and troubleshooting features, including configuration logging and a dedicated Best Practice Analyzer. Last, we’ve integrated several of the most popular optional extensions associated with Windows Server 2008, including URLScan 3.0 (now known as the Request Filter Module).


SOURCE:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/top-reasons.aspx


Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Windows 7 Upgrade Paths


This blog post outlines supported and unsupported upgrade paths for editions of the Windows® 7 operating system.


Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios


 


·      Upgrades to Windows 7 from the following operating systems are not supported: 


·      Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista® RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS


·      Windows NT® Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2


·      Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.


·      Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.


·      Cross-SKU upgrades (for example, Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are not supported.


·      Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported. 


·      Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.


·      Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.


Supported Upgrade Scenarios


From Windows Vista (SP1, SP2)

Upgrade to Windows 7

Business

Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Enterprise

Enterprise

Home Basic

Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate

Home Premium

Home Premium, Ultimate

Ultimate

Ultimate


From Windows 7

Repair-In-Place Upgrade to Windows 7

Enterprise

Enterprise

Home Basic

Home Basic

Home Premium

Home Premium

Professional

Professional

Starter (x86 only)

Starter (x86)

Ultimate

Ultimate


From Windows 7

Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7

Home Basic

Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate

Home Premium

Professional, Ultimate

Professional

Ultimate

Starter

Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate


 


 


Source: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=E170EBA1-5BAB-401F-BBF5-00F0EE7FE0FB&displaylang=en

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Paths

Supported Upgrade Scenarios


From Windows Server 2003 (SP2, R2)

Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2

Datacenter

Datacenter

Enterprise

Enterprise, Datacenter

Standard

Standard, Enterprise

From Windows Server 2008 (RTM, SP2)

Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2

Datacenter

Datacenter

Datacenter Core

Datacenter Core

Enterprise

Enterprise, Datacenter

Enterprise Core

Enterprise Core, Datacenter Core

Foundation (SP2 only)

Standard

Standard

Standard, Enterprise

Standard Core

Standard Core, Enterprise Core

Web

Standard, Web

Web Core

Standard Core, Web Core

From Windows Server 2008 (RC, IDS, RTM)

Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2

Datacenter

Datacenter

Datacenter Core

Datacenter Core

Enterprise

Enterprise, Datacenter

Enterprise Core

Enterprise Core, Datacenter Core

Foundation

Standard, Foundation

Standard

Standard, Enterprise

Standard Core

Standard Core, Enterprise Core

Web

Standard, Web

Web Core

Standard Core, Web Core

Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios

  • Upgrades to Windows Server 2008 R2 from the following operating systems are not supported:

    • Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Vista Starter, or Windows 7

    • Windows NT Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 RTM, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 Web, Windows Server 2008 R2 M3, or Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta

    • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems, Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems

  • Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.

  • Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.

  • Cross-edition upgrades (for example, the Windows Server 2008 Foundation SKU to the Windows Server 2008 Datacenter SKU) are not supported.

  • Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.

Beta and Release Candidate Support

Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta to Windows Server 2008 R2 RC In-Place Upgrade is supported.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta to Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM In-Place Upgrade is not supported.

Windows Server 2008 R2 RC to Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM In-Place Upgrade is supported.

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/migration-paths.aspx

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Hyper-V and Symbolic Links

 Hyper-V Meta data is stored in the following folder:

%SYSTEMDRIVE%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\

If you open the directory you will see Symlinks to your virtual machine files. If ever the Hyper-V console loses track of your Virtual Machine data you might be able to tell Hyper_V where to look by reinserting the metadata. The following syntax must be run from the command prompt in the system32 folder.

mklink “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\GUIDMachineFile.xml” “c:\ClusterStorage\Volume1\VirtualMachineName\Virtual MachinesGUIDMachineFile.xml”

Example

mklink “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\4DD127D2-8F04-4B39-85A9-EA679487A9BF.xml” “c:\ClusterStorage\Volume1\JeffVM\Virtual Machines\4DD127D2-8F04-4B39-85A9-EA679487A9BF.xml”
 

Background

Symbolic link

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computing, a symbolic link (also symlink or soft link) is a special type of file that contains a reference to another file or directory in the form of an absolute or relative path and that affects pathname resolution.[1] Symbolic links first appeared in the 4.2BSD release of Berkeley Unix (1983). Today they are supported by the POSIX operating-system standard, most Unix-like operating systems, Windows Vista, and to some degree in Windows 2000 and Windows XP.


Symbolic links operate transparently for most operations: programs which read or write to files named by a symbolic link will behave as if operating directly on the target file. However, programs that need to handle symbolic links specially (e.g., backup utilities) may identify and manipulate them directly.


A symbolic link merely contains a text string that is interpreted and followed by the operating system as a path to another file or directory. It is a file on its own and can exist independently of its target. If a symbolic link is deleted, its target remains unaffected. If the target is moved, renamed or deleted, any symbolic link that used to point to it continues to exist but now points to a non-existing file. Symbolic links pointing to non-existing files are sometimes called orphaned or dangling.


Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology