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What's New in Private Cloud with System Center 2012 R2 VMM

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What's New in Private Cloud with System Center 2012 R2 VMM

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Didn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry!  This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros.  Today’s article focuses on enhancements for Private Cloud scenarios with the upcoming System Center 2012 R2 VMM release.


Last week at TechEd 2013 North America, we announced System Center 2012 R2 – the next major release of System Center! And, while each of the System Center components has significant updates planned in this R2 release, I was really impressed with the end-to-end Private Cloud fabric, VM and service management enhancements in Virtual Machine Manager.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of these enhancements that you will be able to leverage when building your Private Clouds with System Center 2012 R2!

System Center 2012 R2 VMM – What’s New in Private Cloud

Vijay Tewari, Principal Group Program Manager on the VMM team, delivered an awesome demo-heavy session last week at TechEd 2013 that provided an overview of new and enhanced Private Cloud management capabilities that will be available in the forthcoming release of System Center 2012 R2 VMM.  Below, I’ve provided a clickable index to Vijay’s recorded session, so that you can easily concentrate on learning about the areas that are most important to you.

Download the  deck and  video for offline viewing.

Session Index – What’s New in Private Cloud with System Center 2012 R2 VMM

  • [ 05:29 ] Cloud OS – Empowering Hybrid Cloud across 3 Types of Datacenters
    • Customer Private Clouds
    • Service Provider Clouds
    • Windows Azure Cloud
    • Consistent Building Blocks
    • Consistent Management Experience 
  • [ 08:25 ] Cloud – Demystified
    • Pool of compute, storage and networking resources
    • Elastic - Allocable on demand to your “customers”
    • Automate everything – 540+ PowerShell Cmdlets in VMM!
    • Usage-based Metering – Chargeback / Showback
    • Self-Service – Role-based Delegation and Access Control 
  • [ 13:28 ] Enabling Private Cloud with System Center 2012 R2 VMM
    • Storage – Use any kind of Storage: DAS, SAN, NAS, Windows Server 2012 File Server, Scale-out File Server Cluster
    • Networking – Management of physical network switches via OMI as well as virtual network infrastructure ( PVLANs, NV-GRE Virtualized Networks, NV-GRE Gateways )
    • Virtualization host agnostic – Intel/AMD/OEM Hardware running Windows Server 2012/R2/2008 R2 Hyper-V, VMware or Citrix XenServer
    • Configure and deploy physical Storage, Network and Virtualization hosts as Private Cloud Fabric
    • Define Pooled Resources as “Clouds” based on SLA
    • Delegate Cloud Capacity to Self-Service Users
    • Model Applications using VMM Service Templates for consistent deployment of application workloads 
  • [ 19:47 ] Announcing Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch
    • Advanced NX-OS feature-set
    • Innovative Services architecture ( vPath )
    • Consistent operational model
    • Integration today with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 VMM
    • Already working together on future release of 1000V for Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 VMM 
  • [ 20:36 ] 3rd Party Storage Management in VMM
    • Standards-based management using SMI-S
    • Test and confirm interoperability at ongoing storage industry plug-fests
    • Dramatically simplifies provisioning and management of storage 
  • [ 22:03 ] Key Investment Areas in System Center 2012 R2 VMM
    • Services
    • VMs
    • Clouds
    • Networking
    • Storage
    • Infrastructure 
  • [ 23:36 ] Introduction to Private Cloud Case Study Scenarios
    • Wingtip Toys – Enterprise company
    • Contoso Hosting – Service Provider 
  • [ 29:44 ] Think “Stamps” for Private Cloud Consistency
    • Stamps are a unit of compute, storage and networking ( scale unit )
    • Managed by System Center
    • One datacenter could have multiple stamps
    • Disaster recovery across stamps
    • Logical view of a Stamp
    • Physical view of a Stamp 
  • [ 33:24 ] Bootstrapping a repeatable architecture
    • Create initial storage and management infrastructure first
    • Use VMM and service templates to deploy other management scale units
      • System Center components planned to be made available as VMM Service Templates in the future.
    • Configure storage, networking and edge scale units
    • Deploy more templates for more stamps 
  • [ 34:24 ] Network Overview
    • Public Internet
    • Corporate
    • Management
    • Internal – Live Migration, Cluster, Storage
    • Tenant Networks
    • Isolation – Internet vs Datacenter vs Tenants 
  • [ 35:54 ] Storage Overview
    • 3rd Party SAN – iSCSI or Fibre Channel
    • 3rd Party NAS
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Scale-Out File Server Cluster 
  • [ 37:18 ] DEMO: Bare-Metal Provisioning Scale-Out File Server Cluster and Storage Spaces
    • SAN-like features at a commodity cost point
    • Just a Bunch Of Disks ( JBOD ) with Enterprise SSD / SAS disks for inexpensive shared storage
    • Storage Spaces for resilient tiering
    • VMM used for bare-metal provisioning of Scale-Out File Server Cluster and Storage Spaces
    • Library > Physical Computer Profile
    • Fabric > Create File Server Cluster
    • Fabric > Manage Pools > New Storage Pool Wizard
    • Fabric > Create File Share
    • Fabric > Cluster > Properties > Add File Share Path for VM Deployments 
  • [ 45:55 ] DEMO: Provisioning Synthetic Fibre Channel in Guest VMs using VMM
    • Provides VMs with access to shared Fibre Channel Storage
    • Preserve investment in existing Fibre Channel SANs
    • Simplifies Fibre Channel Zone Management
    • VMs and Services > Guest VM > Properties > Storage > Add Fibre Channel Array > Create New Zone
    • VMs and Services > Guest VM > Properties > Storage > Add Disk > Create LUN 
  • [ 50:03 ] Reduce VM Provisioning Time with ODX in VMM
    • Use ODX from VMM Library to Hyper-V virtualization hosts 
  • [ 51:17 ] DEMO: Guest Clustering with Shared VHDXs
    • Automate Creation of Guest Clusters using new Script Options within VMM Service Templates
    • First VM can have its own script to provision new cluster
    • Second and Subsequent VMs can run separate script to join cluster
    • Shared VHDX stored on Scale-Out File Server Cluster
    • Library > Service Template Designer > Tier Properties > Hardware Configuration > Bus Configuration > SCSI Disk > Share this disk across the service tier
    • Library > Service Template Designer > Tier Properties > Application Configuration > Scripts > Creation: First VM
    • Library > Service Template Designer > Tier Properties > Application Configuration > Scripts > Creation: Other VMs 
  • [ 58:56 ] VMM Integration with IP Address Management ( IPAM )
    • Centralized Management of Logical and Physical Networks
    • VMM Logical Networks appear in Windows Server 2012 IPAM Tools
    • Windows Server 2012 IPAM can be used to provision new VMM Logical Networks side-by-side with Physical Networks 
  • [ 59:46 ] DEMO: Managing Top of Rack ( ToR ) Network Switch Compliance
    • Uses OMI to communicate with physical network switches for configuration validation and remediation
    • Fabric > Logical Networks > Host > NIC > Compliance errors
    • Fabric > Logical Networks > Host > NIC > Remediate 
  • [ 1:03:24 ] DEMO: Hybrid Networking with Windows Azure Pack and System Center 2012 R2 VMM
    • Self-service virtual network provisioning and management via Windows Azure Pack
    • Builds on foundation in Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2
      • NVGRE, IPA, Switch Extensions
      • Uses VMM as control plane
    • Isolated virtual networks running on shared network infrastructure
    • In-box multitenant edge gateway in Windows Server 2012 R2
      • Provides connectivity between physical and virtualized networks
      • VMM Service Template planned for automating the provisioning of edge gateways
    • VMs and Services > VM Networks > Properties
    • Library > Service Templates > Windows Server 2012 R2 Edge Gateway 
  • [ 1:11:02 ] DEMO: Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager
    • Automate and Orchestrate Disaster Recovery between Private Clouds at different datacenters
    • Windows Azure Management Portal > Recovery Services > Recovery Plan
      • Protected Items defined for each Private Cloud
      • Define Recovery Plan for orchestrated DR failover process
    • VMs and Services > VM > Enable Recovery 
  • [ 1:15:02 ] Delegating Access Per Private Cloud
    • Assign different permissions for different clouds
    • Restricted permissions to resource gold cloud
    • Full permissions to silver cloud 
  • [ 1:15:37 ] DEMO: OM Dashboard for VMM Fabric Monitoring
    • Operations Manager > Monitoring > Cloud Health > Fabric Health 
  • [ 1:17:28 ] Session Summary and Q&A
    • System Center 2012 R2 VMM Builds on investments in Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1
    • Enables End-to-End Scenarios for CloudOS
    • Full list of new features in System Center 2012 R2 VMM in slide deck appendix

Additional resources

Be sure to also check out the long list of new features and enhanced capabilities announced for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, since System Center 2012 R2 VMM and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V are tightly integrated with one another.

Now, it’s your turn … Let us know your feedback!

Which of the new capabilities in System Center 2012 R2 VMM are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below …

Join us in exploring application and infrastructure changes required for running scalable, observable, and portable apps on Kubernetes.


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