Virtualized Exchange Storage: VMDK or RDM or…?

#Exchange #Exchange2010 #vmware

Matt sent me this .. an Interesting read

One of the hottest topics I get into when talking to customers about virtualizing Exchange is storage. Not surprising considering the number of options available when we virtualize Exchange on vSphere. If you are not familiar with the common methods for provisioning storage in vSphere a brief description of each follows:

  • VMFS based virtual disk (VMDK) – VMFS is a high performance, clustered file system that allows concurrent access by multiple hosts to files on a shared volume. VMFS offers high I/O capabilities for virtual machines and is optimized for large VMDK files. VMFS volumes can be Fibre Channel or iSCSI attached.
  • Raw-device mappings (RDM) – RDM is a mapping file in a VMFS volume that acts as a proxy for a raw physical device, sometimes called a pass-thru disk. The RDM file contains metadata used to manage and redirect disk access to the physical device. RDMs can be Fibre Channel or iSCSI attached.

In early versions of ESX the virtualization overhead associated with deploying virtual disks (VMDK files) was much higher than it is today and why it was considered a best practice to place Exchange data files on physical mode raw-device mappings (RDM). As ESX and vSphere have evolved the performance difference between RDMs and virtual disks has become almost nonexistent. This leaves some questioning why we might choose to deploy RDMs for Exchange storage.

… “

vSphere 4.1 is released

#vmware #vSphere

Joe tweeted this link ( and I wanted to share it further:

As well as this:

Check this out a #vmware custom quote tool

This is quite funky, up on they have created a quote tool for VMware software!

#vmware vSphere PowerCLI Commandlet Poster


Funky  …

Pablo Roesch, VMware, has put out a poster that their marketing department did, that has a listing of the PowerCLI commandlets.  This is a very useful tool for anyone working in PowerShell using the VMware Toolkit for Windows.

#Hyper-V Training – Day 4

The last day, and the sun is shining outside which is always a plus.  So lessons learnt for the day …

If your Hyper-V server is in a workgroup and SCVMM is part of a domain, you need to do an agent install and treat it as if it’s in a perimeter network :-|

Lots and lots of Powershell ;-)

need to check out … Cluster Shared Volumes … they look kind of interesting

Ohh SCOM ..

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 helps organizations maintain virtual machines that are stored offline in a Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager library. While stored, virtual machines do not receive operating system updates. The tool provides a way to keep offline virtual machines up-to-date so that bringing a virtual machine online does not introduce vulnerabilities into the organization’s IT infrastructure.

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool combines the Windows Workflow programming model with the Windows PowerShell™ interface to bring groups of virtual machines online just long enough for them to receive updates from either System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Windows Server Update Services. As soon as the virtual machines are up-to-date, the tool returns them to the offline state in the Virtual Machine Manager library.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless toolkit that finds computers on a network and performs a detailed inventory of the computers using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and the Remote Registry Service. The data and analysis provided by this toolkit can significantly simplify the planning process for migrating to Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Server® 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Microsoft Application Virtualization, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Forefront® Client Security and Network Access Protection. Assessments for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Vista include device driver availability as well as recommendations for hardware upgrades.

If you are interested in server virtualization planning, MAP provides the ability to gather performance metrics from computers you are considering for virtualization and a feature to model a library of potential host hardware and storage configurations. This information can be used to quickly perform “what-if” analysis using Hyper-V and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 as virtualization platforms.

Other links

Other Course

Hyper-V Training – Day 3


So its Wednesday and day 3 … today was more SCVMM

Just great, Windows Update bounced my laptop and lost this post .. Greeaaaat. So let me try and remember .. Oh, what is cool is that you can create a Windows 2008 Failover cluster.  You can then install hyper-v on both nodes of the cluster.  Now when the cluster is created you can actually “cluster” a virtual machine so it can failover to either node … kewl

So SCVMM has a powershell snapin [Microsoft.SystemCentre.VirtualMachineManager].  The following commands are available:

  • Add-LibraryServer
  • Add-LibraryShare
  • Add-Patch
  • Add-VirtualizationManager
  • Add-VMHost
  • Add-VMHostCluster
  • Add-VMHostNetworkAdapter
  • Associate-VMHost
  • Backup-VMMServer
  • Compress-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Convert-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Copy-HardDisk
  • Copy-VMDK
  • Disable-VMHost
  • DisableUndoDisk-VM
  • DiscardSavedState-VM
  • Discover-Cluster
  • Discover-Computer
  • Discover-LibraryShare
  • Dismiss-PROTip
  • Enable-VMHost
  • Expand-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Get-Certificate
  • Get-CPUType
  • Get-DependentLibraryObject
  • Get-DirectoryChildItem
  • Get-GuestOSProfile
  • Get-HardwareProfile
  • Get-ISO
  • Get-Job
  • Get-LibraryRating
  • Get-LibraryServer
  • Get-LibraryShare
  • Get-MachineConfig
  • Get-NetworkLocation
  • Get-OperatingSystem
  • Get-PROTip
  • Get-Script
  • Get-SshPublicKey
  • Get-Step
  • Get-Template
  • Get-VirtualCOMPort
  • Get-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Get-VirtualDVDDrive
  • Get-VirtualFloppyDisk
  • Get-VirtualFloppyDrive
  • Get-VirtualHardDisk
  • Get-VirtualizationManager
  • Get-VirtualNetwork
  • Get-VirtualNetworkAdapter
  • Get-VirtualSCSIAdapter
  • Get-VM
  • Get-VMCheckpoint
  • Get-VMHost
  • Get-VMHostCluster
  • Get-VMHostDisk
  • Get-VMHostGroup
  • Get-VMHostNetworkAdapter
  • Get-VMHostRating
  • Get-VMHostVolume
  • Get-VMMManagedComputer
  • Get-VMMServer
  • Get-VMMUserRole
  • Get-VMPerformance
  • Get-VMwareResourcePool
  • Get-VMXMachineConfig
  • Invoke-PROTip
  • Merge-VMCheckpoint
  • Move-VirtualHardDisk
  • Move-VM
  • Move-VMHost
  • Move-VMHostCluster
  • Move-VMHostGroup
  • New-GuestOSProfile
  • New-HardwareProfile
  • New-MachineConfig
  • New-P2V
  • New-PhysicalAddress
  • New-Template
  • New-V2V
  • New-VirtualDiskDrive
  • New-VirtualDVDDrive
  • New-VirtualNetwork
  • New-VirtualNetworkAdapter
  • New-VirtualSCSIAdapter
  • New-VM
  • New-VMCheckpoint
  • New-VMHostGroup
  • New-VMMUserRole
  • New-VMRCCertificateRequest
  • New-VMXMachineConfig
  • Reassociate-VMMManagedComputer
  • Refresh-LibraryShare
  • Refresh-VirtualizationManager
  • Refresh-VM
  • Refresh-VMHost
  • Refresh-VMHostCluster
  • Register-VM
  • Remove-GuestOSProfile
  • Remove-HardwareProfile
  • Remove-ISO
  • Remove-LibraryServer
  • Remove-LibraryShare
  • Remove-MachineConfig
  • Remove-Script
  • Remove-Template
  • Remove-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Remove-VirtualDVDDrive
  • Remove-VirtualFloppyDisk
  • Remove-VirtualHardDisk
  • Remove-VirtualizationManager
  • Remove-VirtualNetwork
  • Remove-VirtualNetworkAdapter
  • Remove-VirtualSCSIAdapter
  • Remove-VM
  • Remove-VMCheckpoint
  • Remove-VMHost
  • Remove-VMHostCluster
  • Remove-VMHostGroup
  • Remove-VMHostNetworkAdapter
  • Remove-VMMUserRole
  • Remove-VMXMachineConfig
  • Repair-VM
  • Restart-Job
  • Restore-VMCheckpoint
  • Resume-VM
  • SaveState-VM
  • Set-GuestOSProfile
  • Set-HardwareProfile
  • Set-ISO
  • Set-LibraryServer
  • Set-LibraryShare
  • Set-PROTip
  • Set-Script
  • Set-Template
  • Set-VirtualCOMPort
  • Set-VirtualDiskDrive
  • Set-VirtualDVDDrive
  • Set-VirtualFloppyDisk
  • Set-VirtualFloppyDrive
  • Set-VirtualHardDisk
  • Set-VirtualizationManager
  • Set-VirtualNetwork
  • Set-VirtualNetworkAdapter
  • Set-VirtualSCSIAdapter
  • Set-VM
  • Set-VMCheckpoint
  • Set-VMHost
  • Set-VMHostCluster
  • Set-VMHostGroup
  • Set-VMHostNetworkAdapter
  • Set-VMHostVolume
  • Set-VMMServer
  • Set-VMMUserRole
  • Shutdown-VM
  • Start-VM
  • Stop-Job
  • Stop-VM
  • Store-VM
  • Suspend-VM
  • Update-VMHost
  • Update-VMMManagedComputer

As for P2V, Windows 2008 R2 can P2V the following OS’s (this is from the New-P2V cmdlet)

This cmdlet supports a P2V conversion for a physical source machine running one of the operating systems listed in the following table:

Windows Server 2008 Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (or later) Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Yes Yes
Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 No Yes
Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (or later) Yes Yes
Windows XP x64 Edition Yes Yes
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Yes Yes
Windows Vista x64 Service Pack 1 Yes Yes

This is from the New-V2V cmdlet

New-V2V supports the conversion of VMware virtual machines that are running any of the following guest operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 4 (SP4) or later
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 or later
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows XP SP1 or later
  • Windows Vista

#Hyper-V Training – Day 2

Another day and some more learning.  So my ramblings from today are:

Have a server, take a snapshot and install an SP ..test it and then is okay, merge the snapshot.  If not, remove the snapshot and you back.

Nothing else really shone out, so this is nice and short

#Hyper-V Training – Day 1

I am on a Hyper-V Training course for the rest of this week at QA in London and wanted to share some “stuff” that came up today with you all.

The course combines 6331A Deploying and Managing Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager [3 Day Course] and 6422A Implementing and Managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V [3 Day Course] in to a single 4 day course

Two nice tiny manuals, that the trainer says are pants!.  Anyway we started with 6422A .. here are my ramblings from today

Windows 2008 Core
To list available roles and features use

Recommend to use the following to install Hyper-V
start /w OCSETUP Microsoft-Hyper-V


  • Authorization Manager
    • azman.msc
    • Open c:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsHyper-VInitialStore.xml
    • Once open to can create new definitions for other groups/users.  Then promote Role Definitions to Role Assignments

Links mentioned

VMotion and #Exchange 2010, not supported



Now this is very very interesting and may explain why my DAG databases keep failing over..

… vSphere Update 1 states:

Enhanced Clustering Support for Microsoft Windows – Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) for Windows 2000 and 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering is now supported on an VMware High Availability (HA) and Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS) cluster in a limited configuration. HA and DRS functionality can be effectively disabled for individual MSCS virtual machines as opposed to disabling HA and DRS on the entire ESX/ESXi host

Disk2vhd v1.4

How funky is this


Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).