What’s New in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2

What are the major changes?

The Hyper-V™ role enables you to create and manage a virtualized server computing environment by using a technology that is part of Windows Server® 2008 R2. The improvements to Hyper-V include new live migration functionality, support for dynamic virtual machine storage, and enhancements to processor and networking support.

The following changes are available in Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Live migration
  • Dynamic virtual machine storage
  • Enhanced processor support
  • Enhanced networking support

What does Hyper-V do?

Hyper-V is a role in Windows Server 2008 R2 that provides you with the tools and services you can use to create a virtualized server computing environment. This virtualized environment can be used to address a variety of business goals aimed at improving efficiency and reducing costs. This type of environment is useful because you can create and manage virtual machines, which allows you to run multiple operating systems on one physical computer and isolate the operating systems from each other.

Who will be interested in this feature?

The Hyper-V role is used by IT professionals who need to create a virtualized server computing environment.

What new functionality does Hyper-V provide?

Improvements to Hyper-V include new live migration functionality.

Live migration

Live migration allows you to transparently move running virtual machines from one node of the failover cluster to another node in the same cluster without a dropped network connection or perceived downtime. Live migration requires the failover clustering role to be added and configured on the servers running Hyper-V. In addition, failover clustering requires shared storage for the cluster nodes. This can include an iSCSI or Fiber-Channel Storage Area Network (SAN). All virtual machines are stored in the shared storage area, and the running virtual machine state is managed by one of the nodes.

On a given server running Hyper-V, only one live migration (to or from the server) can be in progress at a given time. This means that you cannot use live migration to move multiple virtual machines simultaneously.

We recommend using the new Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) feature of Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008 R2 with live migration. CSV provides increased reliability when used with live migration and virtual machines, and also provides a single, consistent file namespace so that all servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 see the same storage.

Why is this change important?

Live migration does the following to facilitate greater flexibility and value:

  • Provides better agility. Datacenters with multiple servers running Hyper-V can move running virtual machines to the best physical computer for performance, scaling, or optimal consolidation without affecting users.
  • Reduces costs. Datacenters with multiple servers running Hyper-V can service their servers without causing virtual machine downtime or the need to schedule a maintenance window. Datacenters will also be able to reduce power consumption by dynamically increasing consolidation ratios and turning off unused servers during times of lower demand.
  • Increases productivity. It is possible to keep virtual machines online, even during maintenance, which increases productivity for both users and server administrators.

Are there any dependencies?

Live migration requires the failover clustering role to be added and configured on the servers running Hyper-V.

What existing functionality is changing?

The following list briefly summarizes the improvements to existing functionality in Hyper-V:

  • Dynamic virtual machine storage. Improvements to virtual machine storage include support for hot plug-in and hot removal of the storage on a SCSI controller of the virtual machine. By supporting the addition or removal of virtual hard disks and physical disks while a virtual machine is running, it is possible to quickly reconfigure virtual machines to meet changing requirements. Hot plug-in and removal of storage requires the installation of Hyper-V integration services (included in Windows Server 2008 R2) on the guest operating system.
  • Enhanced processor support. You can now have up to 64 physical processor cores. The increased processor support makes it possible to run even more demanding workloads on a single host. In addition, there is support for Second-Level Address Translation (SLAT) and CPU Core Parking. CPU Core Parking enables Windows and Hyper-V to consolidate processing onto the fewest number of possible processor cores, and suspends inactive processor cores. SLAT adds a second level of paging below the architectural x86/x64 paging tables in x86/x64 processors. It provides an indirection layer from virtual machine memory access to the physical memory access. In virtualization scenarios, hardware-based SLAT support improves performance. On Itanium-based processors, this is called Extended Page Tables (EPT), and on AMD-based processors, it is called Nested Page Tables (NPT).
  • Enhanced networking support. Support for jumbo frames, which was previously available in nonvirtual environments, has been extended to be available on virtual machines. This feature enables virtual machines to use jumbo frames up to 9,014 bytes in size, if the underlying physical network supports it.

Which editions include this role?

This role is available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 R2, except for Windows Server® 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems and Windows® Web Server 2008 R2.

Source: Microsoft.com

Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 Announced

Exchange Server 2010 SP2 is due for release in the second half of this year and Microsoft has released some more detailed information on what to expect in this update.

With SP2, the following new features and capabilities will be included:

  • Outlook Web App (OWA) Mini: A browse-only version of OWA designed for low bandwidth and resolution devices. Based on the existing Exchange 2010 SP1 OWA infrastructure, this feature provides a simple text based interface to navigate the user’s mailbox and access to the global address list from a plurality of mobile devices.
  • Cross-Site Silent Redirection for Outlook Web App: With Service Pack 2, you will have the ability to enable silent redirection when CAS must redirect an OWA request to CAS infrastructure located in another Active Directory site.  Silent redirection can also provide a single sign-on experience when Forms-Based Authentication is used.
  • Hybrid Configuration Wizard: Organizations can choose to deploy a hybrid scenario where some mailboxes are on-premises and some are in Exchange Online with Microsoft Office 365. Hybrid deployments may be needed for migrations taking place over weeks, months or indefinite timeframes. This wizard helps simplify the configuration of Exchange sharing features, like: calendar and free/busy sharing, secure mailflow, mailbox moves, as well as online archive.
  • Address Book Policies: Allows organizations to segment their address books into smaller scoped subsets of users providing a more refined user experience than the previous manual configuration approach. We also blogged about this new feature recently in GAL Segmentation, Exchange Server 2010 and Address Book Policies.
  • Customer Requested Fixes: All fixes contained within update rollups released prior to Service Pack 2 will also be contained within SP2. Details of our regular Exchange 2010 release rhythm can be found in Exchange 2010 Servicing.

One thing to note is that SP2 will require an Active Directory schema update.

In order to support these newly added features, there will be a requirement for customers to update their Active Directory schema. We’ve heard the feedback loud and clear from our customers on multiple occasions regarding delays that can be caused to deployment as a result of needing to update your schema and as such with the release of Exchange 2010 SP2 are communicating the required changes ahead of release in order to assist our customers with planning their upgrade path ahead of time.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365

is a commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft Corporation, with the initial plan including a Professional subscription (for organizations of 25 and smaller) and an Enterprise subscription (for organizations with more individuals). [1] Office 365 was announced in the autumn of 2010, and was made available to the public on 28 June 2011.[2]

Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft’s Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet,[3] in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS).[4]

Microsoft Office 365

On June 28, 2011, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft announced
the availability of Office 365, Microsoft’s next generation productivity
service. Office 365 is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience
delivering world class productivity solutions to people and businesses of all
sizes. It brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync in an
always-up-to-date cloud service. Customers may try it and buy it at www.office365.com.