Hyper-V… 2 Months Later

I have to say this so far… I will not be giving any of my influence to my immediate boss or other co-workers (or even anyone on the interwebs) to use Hyper-V 2012, or any other version in a production environment for a few reasons:

1. Linux Guests

Obviously I am a Linux enthusiast. I don’t believe that it is right for everyone, but I do believe in it, and I do believe that it is a very solid server platform. That being said, Microsoft has not accepted this fact quite yet. Integration with a Linux guest under Hyper-V is flaky at best. I have had more kernel panics using stock CentOS than I ever have on any other hypervisor, or even physical machines. This is with their integration software installed as well. I do not use Debian / Ubuntu as production machines, so I can’t speak for those, but Red Hat / Oracle / CentOS may be “officially supported”, but they do not work nearly up to snuff. I honestly have been afraid to update some of the servers I put on our Hyper-V server for that reason.

2. Cannot hot-add hardware

And by hardware, I don’t mean hot adding a CPU or a gig of memory… In VMware this is a given – sometimes you need to hot add a NIC or a hard drive. This is not the case in Hyper-V – and if it is it is buried somewhere deep in there.

3.  Runs on top of Windows

This could be a pro or a con.

Anyway, there are far more things to mention, but the Linux Kernel Panics are happening far too often for me to endorse this as an acceptable alternative for VMware – you might as well just run Virtual Box on the machine and share the machines through RDP – I think that would be a more stable solution than Hyper-V.

Pardon the Hiatus

I am sorry it has been so long since the last post and the last kernel update – I’ll get back on it. I’ve been extremely busy with school and work lately. I have a few posts and topics in my head though and I’ll get on them quite soon. A lot has been happening around here and I’m really excited to share it all.

Hyper-V 2012 and my thoughts so far…

The company I work for is thinking about moving from VMware to Hyper-V for several reasons (costs being one of them). Let me first preface this with our equipment – we have 3 datacenters with ESXi clusters at each (a Production datacenter, a DR / Backup datacenter, and a “datacenter” here at our office).  At DR, we have 2x HP BL460 G1 (G5) (32 gigs of RAM each) blades that run Clustered ESXi 5.1, Production has 5x BL460 G7s (each with 98 gigs of RAM), and here we run older DL380 G7s / G5s that  vary with either 32 or 64 gigs of RAM.

In any event, you can see the costs with VMware hitting a pretty high point here – each Blade has 2 CPUs. Do the math – it’s a ton of money. In any event, we’ve started messing with Hyper-V. I attended a conference last summer in which they highlighted some of the features of it, and on top of that, it comes with Windows Server 2012. HyperV

I personally have had some time to play with this quite a bit over the last couple of days and though I am pleasantly surprised at how far Windows has come regarding virtualization, I don’t think that it’s quite ready for the prime time yet.

I have a few reasons as to why I say this – and I’ll go through them in depth. But my first gripe so far is this – usability. There is very little documentation on troubleshooting issues that you might run in to (and believe me, you’ll run in to them). Getting a single Hyper-V Server up and running was the easy part. Remote Administration was not so easy getting set up (in that if you are on different domains, server on a domain, remote console on a workgroup, etc…).

Second – the System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager is impressive, but hard to use. Every time I try something new, there is some sort of error, it’s never smooth sailing. I’m not saying it isn’t that way with VMware, but Microsoft sort of has a reputation for that kind of thing, and this delivers.

The cost is the main thing though – (see here for a pretty in depth comparison: http://www.milesconsultingcorp.com/Hyper-V-versus-VMware-Comparison.aspx). It’s MUCH cheaper than VMware – enough that it might be worth the trouble of getting set up.

Anyway, expect some postings to some issues I’ve had that you might run in to.

Potential Fix for VMware Tools on Kernel 3.7.x

I’ve been struggling a lot with VMware tools on anything above Kernel 3.7.0 – for some reason it will not find the kernel headers no matter what you do. I may have found a potential fix and I am currently exploring it. If it does in fact work, I’ll post it here shortly.

Alright – here is the fix – I found this on a few other forums and tweaked it to worked with my kernel and actually really any other kernel you have that is 3.7.x – it’s a bug in the kernels code, not in how it’s compiled.

$ sudo cp /usr/src/linux-headers-3.7.0-2.dfk/include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h /lib/modules/3.7.0-2.dfk/build/include/linux/

you can replace that kernel version with whichever you have installed.

Lenovo U410 / U310 BIOS (65cn21ww)

Finally there is a BIOS update for my notebook and just my luck… Lenovo decides to put a password on the file downloaded from there site. Personally, I have no idea why they would do that, but in any event, a little guess revealed that the password is nothing more than “lenovo”. So I guess security wasn’t a huge option.

I stuck a zipped BIOS / flash utility on this site you can download (I removed the password), or else just download the one from their site and decompress / run with the password “lenovo”. This is the exact installer / BIOS image from their website, just extracted with a password, and re-zipped with no passwor.

As usual, I am in no way responsible for any problems that might arise from you doing this, and you do so at your own risk. Obviously this is for the Lenovo Ideapad U410 / U310 only. The installer is a batch that is Windows only.

Download from here: http://mirror.dorkfolio.net/Lenovo/BIOS/65cn21ww.zip


Kernel 3.7

Kernel 3.7 was released sometime in the last week or so and I am currently compiling. I completed started with a new config, and found a lot of stuff that I had left out (different drivers / firmwares, kernel level ethernet teaming, multi-core threading for RAID devices, etc…), and I have to say that I am looking forward to this release. I’ve codenamed it Terrific Tomcat and it should hit the repository sometime over the weekend.

Moving this Week

I apologize for the lack of updates again, I am moving this week. Should be done by next Monday. In the meantime, I am also working on some forums to go with this site! Yay that will be fun.