Microsoft Hyper-V vs. VMware: How far is VMware Still Ahead?

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Probably four of the best virtual platform developers are VMware (vSphere), Microsoft (Hyper-V), Red Hat (KVM), and Citrix (XenServer).

While they are all comparable, each with its own set of advantages, the two who seem to cause the most ruckus are VMware and Hyper-V.

There’s a lot of talk about which is better and in what way, so let’s dive into the two a little deeper.

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Azure’s New Virtual Machine Serial Console Brings Needed Features for VM Users

Sometimes Microsoft Azure virtual machine admins need alternative access points to help configure and diagnose problems that the standard Azure tools can’t deliver. 

That’s where the public preview for Microsoft’s new Azure Serial Console for Virtual Machines can help by providing direct access through a COM1 serial port to address code or system problems that have become unresponsive. Continue reading

Windows User Profiles…The Mysteries Untold – Part 1

Happy New Year Everyone…This is my first blog post of 2017. Woo Hoo!!  As always, I love to blog about questions from the field.  This one came from a customer testing their new Virtual Desktop Infrustrure (VDI) on Nutanix and had 1 out of 50 users profiles be corrupt. He asked why did this happen and how can I avoid this in the future. Now, I would say that 1 corrupt profile out of 50 is fine during a test, but let understand why it happens. This topic is especially important to understand because directly relates to VDI and your end-user experience in VDI.

Windows User Profiles

What is a Windows User Profile? It not just your desktop 🙂

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NPP Training series – Cluster Architecture with Hyper-V

To continue NPP training series here is my next topic: Cluster Architecture

To give credit, some of this content was taken from Steve Poitras’s “Nutanix Bible” blog as his content is the most accurate and then I put a Hyper-V lean to it.

Cluster Architecture

The Nutanix solution is a converged storage + compute solution which leverages local components and creates a distributed platform for virtualization aka virtual computing platform. The solution is a bundled hardware + software appliance which houses 2 (6000/7000 series) or 4 nodes (1000/2000/3000/3050 series) in a 2U footprint. Each node runs an industry standard hypervisor (ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V currently) and the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM).  The Nutanix CVM is what runs the Nutanix software and serves all of the I/O operations for the hypervisor and all VMs running on that host.  For the Nutanix units running VMware vSphere, the SCSI controller, which manages the SSD and HDD devices, is directly passed to the CVM leveraging VM-Direct Path (Intel VT-d).  In the case of Hyper-V the storage devices are passed through to the CVM. Below is an example of what a typical node logically looks like:

NDFS_NodeDetail2 Cluster Architecture

Together, a group of Nutanix Nodes forms a distributed platform called the Distributed Storage Fabric (DFS).  DFS appears to the Hyper-V like any centralized storage array, however all of the I/Os are handled locally to provide the highest performance.  More detail on how these nodes form a distributed system can be found below. Below is an example of how these Nutanix nodes form NDFS and then presented up to Hyper-V via SMB 3.0 Share(s):

dsf_overview Cluster Architecture

DFS uses a software-defined, shared-nothing, scale-out approach to storage that eliminates the need for you to deploy a separate SAN along with its performance bottlenecks and scalability limitations. DFS leverages local SSD for fast VM performance and consolidates high capacity HDDs for cost-effective storage capacity.

The application data is intelligently placed in the appropriate storage tier, balancing storage performance and capacity needs. The environment’s noisy VMs on different hosts won’t impact the performance for any workloads—fulfilling key performance requirements for hybrid deployments.
Here are the key points with Hyper-V on Nutanix:

  • Hypervisor sees the Distributed Storage Fabric (DFS) as one or more SMB 3.0 file shares
  • Supports features like snapshots, dedupe, compression web-scale out, and disaster recovery
  • Locally shared storage is comprised of both flash and spinning disks
  • Variety of models (compute heavy, storage heavy, etc.)
  • Mix and match models within the same cluster
  • Pay as you grow – Start small and linearly scale your Microsoft infrastructure in minutes without the scalability shortcomings of traditional servers and storage.

Next up in the NPP Training series – Cluster Components