I wanted to share with you a recent news about the availability of the CTP (Consumer Technology Preview) of System Center 2012 that support Windows Server “8”. This announcement was made on the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 blog :http://blogs.technet.com/b/scvmm/archive/2012/03/10/system-center-2012-ctp-for-windows-server-8-beta-support-now-available.aspx.
The support of Windows Server “8” by System Center 2012 brings improvements and adds functionalities in the following areas:
Data Protection Manager
- Backup performances have been improved for VMs that are on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) 2.0.
- Backup of VMs on SMB v2.2 shares
- Protect de-duplicate enabled file share volumes. You can read more about the de-duplication feature of Windows Server “8” in this article : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831354.aspx
Virtual Machine Manager
- Network virtualization support: This updated release of SCVMM will now understand and leverage the new network isolation feature from Windows Server “8”. By using and piloting this feature, VMs that are on the same host can now be isolated from each others from the network perspective. You can read more on this new capability of Windows Server “8” on this Technet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831395.aspx
- File share to store Virtual Machines: Windows Server “8” support a new protocol for file shares : SMB v2.2. The support of this protocol allows Windows Server to run VMs that are on a “standard” file share. This CTP of SCVMM supports the deployment of Virtual Machines on a file share that is hosted on a standalone host or a cluster running Windows Server “8”. You can learn more on SMB v2.2 here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831795.aspx and here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831399.aspx
- Support of the VHDX format: The new Hyper-V in Windows Server “8” support a new format for virtual hard disks. This format allows to have a disk of a size up to 64 TB ! In addition, this format brings resiliency to power failures and improves the performances on disks with large sector. You can learn more on the new VHDX format here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831446.aspx
- Live Migration with no shared storage: In Windows Server “8”, we can now live migrate a virtual machine from one host to another with no interruption of service although the two hosts do not share the same storage. This capability is supported and managed by this CTP of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. You can learn more on the new Live Migration here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831435.aspx
- Storage Migration: This feature introduced with Windows Server “8” allows the administrator to move the storage of a Virtual Machine while this VM is running on the host without interrupting this VM. This feature is now supported and understood by this CTP of SCVMM 2012. You can learn more on this feature here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831656.aspx
As you can see, this CTP of System Center 2012 brings a lot of the new and cool features introduced by Windows Server “8” !
I cannot encourage enough to test those CTP ! Here are the download links :
- System Center 2012 SP1 CTP : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=29099
- Associated documentation : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=29094
- Windows Server “8” beta : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx
As a reminder, CTP means the product is not finished and this should only be deployed in a lab or a test environment.
Happy testing !