StarWind V8 Release Candidate Is Available Now!

StarWind Software released the Release Candidate of  StarWind V8. The functionality and architecture of this software is similar to VMware VSAN. It can be installed on both Hyper-V and ESXi and converts local storage to a distributed shared storage.

General availability is expected in Q2 2014

starwind

Download the RC here.

It offers three products that share a common engine:

  • StarWind SAN – a unique system that allows you to create a high-performance and fault-tolerant shared storage on commodity hardware, saving $$$.
  • StarWind VSAN – a virtual SAN sharing a server with Hyper-V on parent partition. Convenient and as easy to manage as any Windows software.
  • StarWind VSA – a virtual storage appliance that merges with VMware and runs in a VM, making your system more efficient and convenient to use.

It is scalable to an unlimited number of nodes, optimized for flash as the primary storage, with its own LSFS and upgraded asynchronous replication.

StarWind SAN, the flagship product, runs on commodity servers’ hardware and converts them into high-performance, fault-tolerant SAN at a fraction of the cost and complexity associated with traditional SAN-based storage infrastructures. With its integrated VSA builder and scale-out architecture, StarWind SAN became the first solution running on Windows that creates clusters of multiple hypervisor hosts without separate physical shared storage (unlike SAS (JBOD), FC or iSCSI). With this release, StarWind supports the latest versions of both VMware and Microsoft platforms.

StarWind virtual SAN (VSAN) is a leading software defined storage for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0. The functionality and architecture of this software is similar to VMware VSAN. It runs inside parent partitions of hypervisor hosts and turns their directly attached storage (DAS) into fault-tolerant SAN. StarWind VSA follows the VMware VSA concept also, and operates inside a VM on the ESXi host, creating a fault-tolerant shared storage of the hypervisor resources.

StarWind V8 RC presents high-performance caching that allows affordable MLC SSDs to be used as level-2 flash cache and fast RAM to be used as level-1 cache. StarWind utilizes solid-state disks / flash cards as the primary storage with a dedicated flash-aware Log-Structured File System (LSFS).

Another major advantage over multiple virtual storage solutions is built-in asynchronous WAN-replication, which ensures effective disaster recovery. StarWind’s support of WAN-acceleration technologies also enables data replication over slow and cheap connections.

StarWind V8 RC includes a set of powerful experimental features including: LSFS, which eliminates the I/O blender effect; synchronous replication for clustered LSFS devices; and in-memory operation, which creates a HA cluster with one node running on RAM-disk.

FreeBSD 10.0 release has built in Hyper-V support

FreeBSD 10.0 release is the first release which has  native paravirtualized drivers and Hyper-V Integration Services built in the amd64 kernel. In previous releases additional software had to be installed to be able to run FreeBSD on Hyper-V.

Mind these are part of the amd64 GENERIC kernel. For i386 some manual steps needs to be taken.

For instructions see the FreeBSD Wiki page The info below was copied from the Wiki page.

As of FreeBSD 10.0, Hyper-V integration services provide the following functionality:

  1. Support for integrated shutdown from Hyper-V console.
  2. Support for keeping time synchronized between FreeBSD guest and Hyper-V host.
  3. Support for Hyper-V specific IDE and SCSI storage devices.
  4. Support for Hyper-V specific network adapter.
  5. Live migration with and without static IP migration. Note that to enable static IP migration, administrators will need to include the KVP driver and daemon available in FreeBSD 10.0 ports for Hyper-V

 

New Hyper-V + System Center exam plus voucher for free exam

Microsoft released in November 2013  a new exam named “74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center“.

The exam requires knowledge of Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. Also some basic knowledge of Windows Azure, System Center and monitoring is required.

Questions are multiple choice with some drag-and-drop.

The exam details can be found here.

To prepare for the exam a 5 day classroom course is available: 20409A: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center (5 Days)

Alternatively Microsoft Virtual Academy has a free 15 modules on-line course available.

There is a voucher for a free exam. Register using this link

The MVA course is available here,

Channel 9 has 13 videos online which explains this subject.

The number of free exams is limited, so be sure to schedule your appointment to lock-in your free exam. Vouchers expire and all exams must be taken by June 30, 2014.

Marius Sandbu wrote a blog titled Study resources 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center with links to more information to prepare for this exam.

Veeam releases free RDP Appliance for Hyper-V Server

Microsoft has a free hypervisor offering called Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is fully equal to the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012. The only item not available in the free edition is the free usage rights for virtual machines running on a host installed with Hyper-V. Each virtual machine instance running on free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 needs to be licensed.

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 comes as a core installation. This means there is no graphical userinterface available to perform management. Especially connecting to the console of the virtual machine can be a challenge. Hyper-V Manager does not run on the Hyper-V Server itself. Adminstrators needs access to another Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 with   Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed to be able to access the console of VM’s.

Veeam to the rescue. The company released a free virtual appliance which is a RDP proxy. The appliance runs CentOS and installs on a Hyper-V host. The appliance can connect to virtual machines using VMconnect. VMconnect is a modified RDP for connection to consoles of virtual machines. VMconnect is able to connect even when the virtual machine does not have an IP-address.

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Free conversion of VMware VMs to Hyper-V VMs with 5nine V2V Easy Converter v2.0

5nine Software has released the 2.0 version of its free V2V conversion tool ‘Easy converter’. It is able to convert VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V. Other conversion types are not supported.

New is this 2.0 release is added support for Hyper-V 2012 R2 as a target. It also supports simultaneous conversions of multiple VMs.

V2V Converter is a simple to use, basic converter tool targeted at the Small and medium business market. During the conversion process the source VMware virtual machine will needs to be shutdown.

The 2.0 version of 5nine V2V Converter supports conversion of VMware Virtual Machines with Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 (x86 and x64), and most of Advanced Server 2000, Ubuntu and CentOS configurations into VHD and VHDX file formats for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 SP1 and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012/R2.

Download 5nine V2V Easy Converter v2.0 from the company website at http://www.5nine.com/vmware-hyper-v-v2v-conversion-free.aspx.