Archive for the ‘Virtual Environments’ Category

Free Backup for VMware and Hyper-V

October 4, 2012

With Veeam Backup Free Edition, you can quickly backup, archive or copy a VM, restore data from inside a VM and migrate and manage VMs and files.

Veeam Backup Free Edition contains useful utilities for day-to-day VM management:

  • VeeamZIP: ad-hoc backup for operational, archival or      portability purposes.
  • Instant File-Level Recovery: restore individual guest      files directly from an image-level backup.
  • File Manager: the easy way to manage VM and host files.
  • Quick Migration for VMware: migrate a live VM to any host or datastore.

Get Veeam Backup Free Edition


Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator

September 22, 2012

The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) Solution Accelerator is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pro or solution provider who wants to convert VMware-based virtual machines and disks to Hyper-V®-based virtual machines and disks.
MVMC provides the following features:

  • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts including Hyper-V on Windows Server® 2012. As part of the machine conversion MVMC converts the virtual disks attached to the source virtual machine. It also migrates configuration such as memory, virtual processor and so on from the source virtual machine to the converted virtual machine deployed on Hyper-V. It adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
  • Converts VMware virtual disks to Hyper-V based virtual hard disks (VHDs).
  • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 4.1 and 5.0 hosts to Hyper-V.
    • Note   MVMC also supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 4.0 if the host is managed by vCenter 4.1 or vCenter 5.0. You have to connect to vCenter 4.1 or 5.0 through MVMC to convert virtual machines on vSphere 4.0.
  • Offers fully scriptable command-line interfaces for performing virtual machine and disk conversions that integrates well with data center automation workflows and Windows PowerShell scripts.
  • Has a wizard-driven GUI, making it simple to perform virtual machine conversion.
  • Uninstalls VMware tools prior to conversion to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
  • Supports Windows Server guest operating system conversion, including Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 SP2.
  • Enables conversion of Windows® client versions including Windows 7.
  • Installs integration services on the converted virtual machine if the guest operating system is Windows Server 2003 SP2.


Set Custom Resolution in VirtualBox for Windows 8

September 20, 2012

Windows 8 doesn’t work with the included VirtualBox display driver, so by default you are limited to several 4:3 resolutions (full screen). If you want a different resolution or a widescreen resolution, it requires a command line entry to enable it. Here’s how:   1. First, close your virtual machine. Then, navigate to x:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\. Hold Shift and right click an open area of the window. Select “Open Command Window Here”. A command prompt window will open in exactly the correct directory to do the job.

2. Type VBoxManage.exe setextradata “Win 8 dev” CustomVideoMode1 1680x1050x32. You can edit the name in quotes to your Windows 8 virtual machine name, as well as the custom resolution (my monitor runs as 1680x1050x32).

3. Restart your VM, and you can now select from the custom resolution you just enabled.

Virtual PC how we can extend the expiration date

January 16, 2012

What happens when a VPC expires?

The VPC normally doesn’t have any special mechanism for the expiration. It is just the normal Windows Server trial software license expiration. Well, this is the case for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM VPCs, though in other Microsoft CTP VPCs like Visual Studio the expiration is on the Visual Studio license.

Normally, when a Dynamics CRM VPC expires what happens is that the machine will keep restarting each one hour, which effectively leaves the VPC totally useless. However, one hour should be enough time to extract all the data and customisations that you need from it. A fast option can be creating a database backup and take it out of the VPC.

How do we know when a VPC Expires?

This actually depends on the trial license expiration date. In the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the trial license is the Windows Server license so we can just write in command window “winver” and we will see the following screen which provides the expiration date. (Seen on Girish Raja’s Blog)

How Can I extend the VPC expiration?

Extending the VPC expiration involves changing the VPC system date time to avoid reaching the expiration date. This basically will make the VPC useless for production however it can get you some useful extension on the VPC life, specially if you have created a nice demo VPC and you want to keep it while building a new one.

The main problem with changing the VPC system date, is that by default it automatically synchronises with the host system date time, which means that you would need to change the date and time on your machine. Whit the added problem that in a domain joined machine you shouldn’t do that.

However, we can use a little trick on the VPC configuration file to disable the Date Time host synchronisation and then make the VPC travel back in time (remember the VPC cannot be joined to an external VPC domain). In order to do that you just need to open the VMC file and modify or add the host time sync section as shown below.

            <allow type="boolean">true</allow>
 <host_time_sync> <enabled type="boolean">false</enabled> </host_time_sync>


I found this information on Jeff Beehler’s blog, which provides a more details on it, and some links on how you can achieve the same if you are using Virtual Server.


Finding out the expiration of your VPC will depend normally on the trial software license expiration that you are using. In the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Demo VPC case depends on the Windows Server trial expiration date, that you can check using “winver” command. Once the VPC has expired the behaviour will depend on the trial license, the Windows Server case will keep restarting each hour.

It is possible to extend the life of the VPC by changing the date time of the system, although you might need to un-synchronise the VPC clock as shown previously.

Download Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

November 17, 2011

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 provides a reliable and optimized virtualization solution enabling organizations to improve server utilization and reduce costs.
Dynamic Memory – a memory management enhancement new for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 – pools and dynamically distributes all the memory of a physical host. Memory can be dynamically reallocated between different virtual machines in response to the changing workloads of these machines. Dynamic Memory thus enables more efficient use of memory while maintaining consistent workload performance and scalability. Implementing Dynamic Memory means that higher levels of server consolidation can be achieved with minimal impact on performance. Dynamic Memory also means larger numbers of virtual desktops per Hyper-V host for VDI scenarios.

When you download the software, you’re automatically registered to receive valuable resources delivered at convenient intervals to help you get the most out of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Register for download and guided evaluation

Oracle VM VirtualBox

February 22, 2011

The latest release is version 4.0.4.

On this page you can download:

Disk2vhd v1.63

December 3, 2010

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

It will create one VHD for each disk on which selected volumes reside. It preserves the partitioning information of the disk, but only copies the data contents for volumes on the disk that are selected. This enables you to capture just system volumes and exclude data volumes, for example.

Note: Virtual PC supports a maximum virtual disk size of 127GB. If you create a VHD from a larger disk it will not be accessible from a Virtual PC VM.

To use VHDs produced by Disk2vhd, create a VM with the desired characteristics and add the VHDs to the VM’s configuration as IDE disks. On first boot, a VM booting a captured copy of Windows will detect the VM’s hardware and automatically install drivers, if present in the image. If the required drivers are not present, install them via the Virtual PC or Hyper-V integration components. You can also attach to VHDs using the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Disk Management or Diskpart utilities.

Note: do not attach to VHDs on the same system on which you created them if you plan on booting from them. If you do so, Windows will assign the VHD a new disk signature to avoid a collision with the signature of the VHD’s source disk. Windows references disks in the boot configuration database (BCD) by disk signature, so when that happens Windows booted in a VM will fail to locate the boot disk.

Disk2vhd runs Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and higher, including x64 systems.


Your complete guide to virtualisation as a free download

November 8, 2010

Let me make it absolutely clear – I am not a virtualisation expert. But I have heard enough network managers in schools, colleges and universities talking about their virtualisation projects to know that it’s very important to their ICT infrastructure – whether that’s reducing cost, cutting carbon emissions, managing their workload, or improving their network reliability and service levels.

But I’ve also talked with other IT managers who’ve convinced me that it’s specialist knowledge that isn’t widely shared. After all, if you’re not quite sure what the difference is between server virtualisation and desktop virtualisation, or whether ‘virtualisation’ and ‘moving to the cloud’ are the same thing, then it can be awkward to ask. (A bit like when I sat in a meeting with a school, and was too embarrassed to ask what ‘assessment for learning’ meant. It helped later when I discovered that nobody in the meeting knew, but they all thought everybody else did.)

The answer is to find the perfect reference guide, written in plain English. And for virtualisation I have found it!

It is absolutely massive – 450 pages. And it has only one subject – virtualisation, virtualisation, virtualisation. But the chapter titles tell you that it’s just what you need:

  • Chapter 1 – Why Virtualisation?
  • Chapter 2 – Server Virtualisation
  • Chapter 3 – Local Desktop Virtualisation
  • Chapter 4 – Remote Desktop Virtualisation
  • Chapter 5 – Virtualisation Management
  • Chapter 6 – Cloud Computing

And it’s got a brilliant index too, so that next time somebody says “failover clustering”, you can look it up slyly on your laptop, and join the conversation.

So if you  want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualisation technologies, so that you can differentiate your Hyper-V from your Remote Desktop Services, then this is the job. And it also covers Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and Microsoft’s private and public cloud computing platforms including Windows Azure. (No wonder it needs 450 pages.)

And best of all, the PDF is free, so stick it on your desktop now:

Download it free: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions: From the Desktop to the Datacenter, 2nd Edition

Microsoft Virtual PC and 64-bit Guest support…

January 11, 2010

You can, always, try VirtualBoxs, it is Open Source and free, and supports x64 guests, among other nice things.

How to get sound working under Windows Server 2003 in Virtual PC

March 24, 2009

Windows Server 2003 does not include drivers for the Sound Blaster 16 emulated by Virtual PC (nor is this card officially supported in Windows Server 2003).  It is – however – possible to get sound working by loading the Windows XP drivers under Windows Server 2003.  To do this you will need to:

Copy the files wdma_ctl.inf and ctlsb16.sys from a Windows XP product CD to a folder.
In the Windows Server 2003 virtual machine, go to Device Manager –> Other Devices –> Sound Blaster 16 –> Update Driver:
Install from a list –> Don’t search –> Sound, video and game controllers
Have Disk –> Browse –> Select folder with the two XP files

Other requested files can be selected from the Windows Server 2003 product CD.