TechEd Berlin 2010 Day 2

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Computer and Internet, Microsoft TechEd

So the first day of TechEd with breakout sessions, besides meeting with peers, this is what TechEd is all about for me. First session of the day was Advanced Storage Infrastructure Best Practices to Enable Ultimate Hyper-V Scalability. The session was given by someone from EMC but was not therefore EMC branded. It was given in such a way that the content will generally applicable, no matter what kind of storage vendor you will use. The session was orientated to deploy a private cloud where you would use the storage system for faster provisioning and deployment of your VM’s. In a normal way of deployment of Hyper-V VM’s you would use the SCVMM console (with the Self Service Portal) to provision your VM’s. What the guys from EMC had done was using snapshot technology and some Power Shell scripting to deploy VM’s which actually resulted in a much faster deployment of VM’s. The concept is that they create a golden VM, take a snapshot from the VM, import the disk, re-signature the disk and then add them as CSV’s to the Hyper-V cluster.During the demo movie the first 5 VM’s deployed by SCVMM were a lot faster but from thereon the snapshot/scripting solution was a lot faster.
Next was a level 400, so good thing I was awake at this time. Impact of Cloning and Virtualization on Active Directory Services. With the environments of today where everything is being consolidated into virtual machines this session was simple a most follow in my agenda. Several examples/situations were given were cloning could have some really (nasty) effects on your virtualized AD environment. Without going into to much details about this session, because this would be a very long blog, some topics that you should keep in mind or definitely should consider when cloning in virtualized (AD) environment are:

  • When a domain is created, it uses the computer SID to create to domain SID. This means if you create a VM, clone it, create a DC out of it, and you want to create a another DC with a child domain you need to do a clear install of a server or run SYSPREP on the clone. If not the domain SID would become the same and you will have serious issues.
  • So use SYSPREP if you are cloning!!
  • If a DC is demoted, the computer SID is regenerated

My 3th session today was Attack & Defense; Authentication and Passwords. During the session some live demo’s were giving on how to easily it is to take advantage of bad configured networks/servers the get access. The main message is that with applications moving into the cloud, certificates are being installed on the client and that you need to secure your clients because these certificates can be easily abused.
The next session was about SCOM, one of my most favorite System Center products. Introducing the Next Generation of SCOM. One the measure announcements was that in the new version the topology of Operation Manager has changed in such a way that there is no more RMS (Root Management Server) required which I’m sure more people will be pleased with. There are some new dashboard views which have multiple views combined, specially those for monitored network devices looks very slick! The new web console is now Silverlight based and personalization that have been done in the SCOM console are pushed back into the web console as well. The new version of SCOM will have the capability to monitor J2E and it will be an in-place upgrade from the current version of SCOM so that your customer investment is protected. The beta version should be available somewhere in Q2 of 2011, RC in Q3 of 2011 and should go RTM in Q4 2011 (a good reason to go next years TechEd) Smile
Next session: Small Business Server 2011 Standard. This should be release by the beginning of December 2010. To make it easier for customers there is now the option of being able to buy Add-On offers. In previous versions customer needed to choose between the Standard and  Premium versions (which was fairly great difference in pricing). For CAL’s (Client Access Licenses) customers only have to buy only extra CAL’s for Premium Add-ons for the users that connect to the SQL instance. Line Of Business (LOB) should best be installed on member server since the new version of SBS using Exchange 2010, which already creates a heavy load on the SBS box itself.
For the last session of the day I followed another Hyper-V track being: Disaster Recovery by Stretching Hyper-V Cluster across Sites. One of the first things that was being told there is that disaster recovery scenarios should be automated because people are not reliable. The technical part of the session was cut into 3 pieces, the network, the storage and the Quorum of the cluster. For the network you can configure some parameters so that if the sites are to far apart, you can change the settings for the heartbeat link between the cluster nodes to prevent from failover because a heartbeat was timed out over the WAN. Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV’s) must be on the same subnet so if you are going over a WAN, a VLAN should be configured. On the storage side of clustering across sites it’s best to have a hardware enabled replication, you should talk to your storage vendor about this because Hyper-V does not have technology like SQL DB mirroring or Exchange log shipping. Whether the synchronization is  synchronise or asynchronise  depends on your business need and much data you are willing to loose. Node & File Share Witness is the best solution for multisite clusters. For the Quorum of the cluster it’s a best practice to not put the Folder Shared Witness on the same cluster because you can loose 2 votes during a cluster failure which can cause the whole cluster to go down. Using PowerShell commands u can force the quorum when the nodes do not have enough votes but note that this might have a performance impact on the cluster.
To close of the day I went to a steakhouse in Berlin went 2 other colleagues and had a few beers, I’ll probably going out for a run tomorrow morning before heading towards to conference.

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