Your basic ITPro blog... What's going on at work, what I'm interested in.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Score 1 for Hyper-V!

In my last post, I lamented that it was possible that Hyper-V was failing where Virtual Server was not. Happily, it turns out I was completely wrong.

The culprit turned out to be Windows Server 2003 itself. Specifically, Windows Server 2003 Standard SP2. This platform has a problem working well with our application. Our Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise SP2 box worked fine hosted on both Virtual Server and (more importantly) Hyper-V.

So, we will be migrating our production application to the new OS, hosting our VM on our Hyper-V box. Which is what we wanted all along.

I have to say that our successful outcome on this project was due to diligent testing. We kept testing different configurations until we had multiple test results, each differing by only one variable. We were then able to clearly define the problem piece of the puzzle.

Thanks to our team for helping with this!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hyper-V Fails where Virtual Server 2005 R2 Succeeds

Hyper-V FAIL! Well, it appears we have to take a step back to move forward. This is a VERY disappointing situation and I am hoping that someone at Microsoft (Hyper-V team) will stumble across this and take interest.

First, go read this blog post. Don’t worry, it will only take a minute… I will wait for you.

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Are you back? Good.

We ran further tests today. Specifically, I created a VM on one of our Virtual Server 2005 R2 hosts and we ran the printing tests. We had no problems at all. So, our current reality is:

  • Physical server: no problems
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 VM: no problems
  • Hyper-V VM: CRASH!

At this point, our options are pretty clear…

  1. Migrate our VM from Hyper-V to Virtual Server 2005 R2, or
  2. Install our workload onto a physical server

As you can guess, neither of these options are ideal. Option 1 is taking a step backward to a technology that is being left behind. I don’t want to have a workload on that platform that can’t be moved to the current offering. Option 2 defeats the whole purpose of virtualization and all of the perceived benefits it offers!

So, here we sit, wondering what to do and where to turn for solutions. We have done some research and wonder if items like this are helpful:

The print process crashes under heavy stress on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition if the computer uses hyper-threading technology.

I went down a rabbit-hole for a while on hyper-threading and virtual platforms… Not sure if I am heading in the right direction.

I would really appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you might have.

I will post more as it becomes available.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Starting VMs that try to share DVD drive

This was an odd one…

I created a new VM on my Hyper-V host. The VM would not start. It turns out that I had two VMs on this Host both trying to use the hosts DVD drive as its own. This doesn’t work.

Found a description and the solution here.

Moral of the story: Make sure an ‘off’ VM is not trying to use the DVD drive if it is already assigned to an ‘on’ VM.

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