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Free virtualization books: Complete list

 These days it is hard to find useful information, especially if you want to find a lot materials in one place. That’s why I spent some time searching through the web to find interesting and useful information regarding virtualization. So I hope you will find useful my list of free virtualization related books.

To summarize, in my list there are 8 free books (with download links included):

  1. Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, Second Edition
  2. Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2
  3. Virtualization for Dummies – HP special edition
  4. The Definitive Guide to Virtual Platform Management  
  5. The Essentials Series: Virtualization and Disaster Recovery
  6. The Shortcut Guide to Virtualization and Service Automation
  7. The Shortcut Guide to Selecting the Right Virtualization Solution
  8. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V: Insider’s Guide to Microsoft’s Hypervisor (this book was free for few weeks and now you can read it on Google)

Ok, so let’s see brief introduction to all books:

Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, Second Edition

This is the book for IT professionals who want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualization technologies, including Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2, 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.

Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2

This book is targeted primarily at Windows server administrators who are responsible for hands-on deployment and day-to-day management of Windows-based servers for large organizations. Windows server administrators manage file and print servers, network infrastructure servers, Web servers, and IT application servers. Book contains Chapter about Hyper-V, RDS and VDI.

Virtualization for Dummies – HP special edition

The purpose of this book is to provide you with an introduction to the subject so that you can understand its promise and perils — and create an action plan to decide whether virtualization is right for you, as well as how to move forward with implementing it should you decide it is right for you. This book will help you sort out the hope from the hype and give you tools to feel confident in making your virtualization decisions.

Note** – following 4 books are available to download from same site nexus.realtimepublishers.com on which you can find a lot of free books. You just need to register with them and that’s it (Everything is free)

The Definitive Guide to Virtual Platform Management  

The Definitive Guide to Virtual Platform Management is designed to help IT staff better manage the complexity of virtualization. This guide begins with a discussion of the business value of virtualization and how organizations can benefit from this technology. Next, details related to virtualization approaches and challenges related to managing heterogeneous environments will be discussed. Based on these issues, the focus will turn to ways in which IT organizations can address all of these issues. Details include monitoring and optimizing virtualization performance, developing policies and processes, and automating data center operations. Finally, a list of important features is developed that IT organizations should look for in a virtualization management solution.

The Essentials Series: Virtualization and Disaster Recovery

The Essentials Series: Virtualization and Disaster Recovery discusses the benefit of virtualization in providing for business continuity though data replication and protection, allowing a more cost-effective solution for high availability and disaster recovery.

 

The Shortcut Guide to Virtualization and Service Automation

The intent of this guide is to assist the smart enterprise with understanding virtualization’s fit into the rest of the IT environment. A major part of that fit is in aligning the promise of virtualization technology with the automation benefits associated with virtualization management. What you’ll find in reading this guide is that notwithstanding what technologies and technological improvements virtualization brings to the table, there are a set of management enhancements that also arrive. Those enhancements are a function of the levels of automation that naturally bundles with the move to virtualization.

The Shortcut Guide to Selecting the Right Virtualization Solution

The intent of this guide is to assist the smart enterprise with understanding virtualization’s fit into the rest of the IT environment. A major part of that fit is in aligning the promise of virtualization technology with the automation benefits associated with virtualization management. What you’ll find in reading this guide is that notwithstanding what technologies and technological improvements virtualization brings to the table, there are a set of management enhancements that also arrive. Those enhancements are a function of the levels of automation that naturally bundles with the move to virtualization.

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V: Insider’s Guide to Microsoft’s Hypervisor

Hyper-V is one of the top virtualization products, and this practical guide focuses on the essentials of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Written by the Microsoft team behind the Hyper-V product, this book shows you how to perform key virtualization scenarios, such as server consolidation, software and development, and a dynamic data center and demonstrates how Hyper-V can be used to reduce cost and eliminate the complexity of a server infrastructure by consolidating workloads to a small number of machines. In addition, the material addresses using DPM, and SCOM with VMM in order to maintain and manage Hyper-V environments.

 

I hope you’ll find some interesting stuff in those books, and of course, feel free to comment if you know maybe more free virtualization books.

Hyper-v dynamic memory & Windows Virtual PC without hardware assisted virtualization

 

 

Great news these days from Microsoft Virtualization:

  1. Dynamic Memory allocation will be feature of new Service Pack for Hyper-V R2.
  2. Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode will run now on computers that don’t have hardware virtualization capabilities.

Surely those news are great, so let’s take a closer look what they actually mean

Dynamic Memory in Hyper-V

How memory works now in Hyper-V? Well high level description would be something like this: when you are creating virtual machines you assign some amount of memory to them and that’s it. Later on you can decide to assign more/less memory and then you should turn off virtual machine and do what you planned. Also with static memory assignment if you have Hyper-V host with 4Gb of RAM, and you plan to have 4 virtual machines with 1GB each, you could not start fourth virtual machines because lack of memory. That’s the main thing about static memory assignment – when you assign memory to virtual machine it will consume all that assigned memory from host, although current state of virtual machine only need half of that. So if you assigned 512 MB of RAM to virtual machine and while powered on that virtual machine only needs 256 MB of RAM, it will still consume whole 512 MB of RAM from the host. Ok, that is clear now, so let’s take a look how will dynamic memory assignment look like.

Although it is not yet completely disclosed, with dynamic memory you could assign more RAM to virtual machines and by that achieve better Hyper-V host utilization. So you could probably assign memory by using min and max values. Let’s describe that in particular scenario. Again, let’s take 4 virtual machines and host with 4 GB of RAM. With dynamic memory allocation you could assign to virtual machine memory with 512 RAM as minimum value and 1024 as maximum value. When you attempt to start virtual machines they would take as much memory as they need (512 or more), and other memory will be free in memory pool. In that scenario Hyper-V will manage further memory allocations based on virtual machine needs. So in some moment of time , one virtual machine would need 1024 MB, and Hyper-V will automatically assign that amount of memory. So, as you can see in this basic scenario, with dynamic memory, Hyper-V will be much more efficient.

 XP mode without Hardware virtualization

A lot of users wanted to try XP mode, but they couldn’t because they didn’t have computers with hardware virtualization support (a.k.a  Intel VT or AMD-V CPU). Now, those users also can try XP mode and for example use Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7 as I described on one previous post.  If you would like to try Windows Virtual PC and XP mode and you don’t have hardware assisted virtualization, download update from Microsoft here (x86) or here (x64).

Administer Hyper-V from Windows XP

December 28, 2009 3 comments

Windows XP is still by far most used operating system worldwide as you can see  here and here.  Also, virtualization is one of the most popular technologies and a lot of companies use Hyper-V as their virtualization solution. So then they have many XP clients (and licenses of course) which they would most likely want to use for remote administration of Hyper-V servers. Of course, Remote desktop can be used for that purposes in many different ways because Hyper-V allows administrators to define role-based access control for Hyper-V by using Authorization Manager. But let’s put that one aside, an let’s imagine that someone would like to use something similar to Hyper-V Remote Management Update for Windows Vista or Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7.

Ok, so in that case everyone can try Hyper-V management console; a small tool that can be installed on Windows XP, Windows 2003, 2008, Vista or Windows 7. Tool is rather easy to set up, you just need to enter names of your Hyper-V servers and that’s it. After that, from Windows XP you have :

  • Ability to monitor multiple Hyper-V servers
  • Ability to monitor all virtual machines
  • Ability to change state of virtual machines
  • Ability to delete, rename virtual machines
  • Ability to create, delete & apply snapshots
  • Ability to RDP to virtual machines
  • Ability to Import/Export virtual machines
  • Audit user activity
  • Display of virtual machines in List or Tree Views
  • Control of user rights to high degree of granularity

Where can I download the tool and how to install it?

  • Download the tool from here. Run HyperVConsoleSetup.msi. 
  • Choose administrative install. After that click only Next couple of times and then Finish. 
  • Run Hyper-V Management Console shortcut in your Start Menu. 

***Note: This is evaluation version so you’ll have ability to manage only two servers/VM’s   

  • After opening tool just right-click on Hyper-V Managers then  click on Connect to server and enter name of your Hyper-V server.
  • Click on following pictures to see how does the tool look like and what can you do with it.

 

 

 

 

Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Cluster error / warning: SCSI 3 persistent reservation failed / CSV redirected access

December 4, 2009 4 comments

Topic of this blog post is actually based around two possible errors/ warnings regarding Hyper-V cluster and Cluster Shared Volumes:

  • Cluster Validation Wizard:  Validate SCSI-3 Persistent Reservation    – Failed”
  • Unable to turn off Redirected Access on Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV)

Anyway both problems are influenced by one tiny configuration step in your storage vendor and can be solved with following steps (if your storage supports that):

  1. Log in to your storage vendor management console.
  2. Go to configuration of hosts connected to storage.
  3. There you will see one drop down menu where you can choose Microsoft Windows LH or Windows Server 2008 entry. If you have option for Windows Server 2008 choose that one and if you have option for Microsoft Windows LH choose that one.

By doing that you will resolve issue in validation wizard and also issue in Cluster Shared Volumes where you can’t turn off redirected access.

Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 RC1 VHD download

November 10, 2009 3 comments

 

Forefront Identity Manager 2010

New VHD available from Microsoft – Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Rc1. This VHD is really useful to get you going with FIM, because clean FIM installation and configuration can take pretty much time. You need to install all FIM components (and believe me, there are a lot of components), configure provisioning etc, etc.   Anyway, now with FIM 2010 VHD available for download, you can try all features:

  • Provisioning of users and groups to AD
  • Creating new dynamical groups
  • Self service password reset
  • Integration with office
  • And much more…

If you are interested in identity management, grab your VHD here , create Hyper-V Virtual Machine and manage your identities.

 

Windows Server 2008 R2 Free E-Book

October 21, 2009 3 comments

Windows Server 2008 R2 E-Book

Hello again. I am happy to announce that Microsoft published free Windows Server 2008 R2 E-Book (with two virtualization chapters), and you can download it from here (PDF file, 11.1 MB). Book has 200 pages and following chapters :

Introduction    xvii
Chapter 1    What’s New in Windows Server R2    1
Chapter 2    Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World    9
Chapter 3    Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines    25
Chapter 4    Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management    47
Chapter 5    Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access    65
Chapter 6    The File Services Role    91
Chapter 7    IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform    109
Chapter 8    DirectAccess and Network Policy Server    129
Chapter 9    Other Features and Enhancements    147
Index    163

Download and enjoy reading.

Free Physical to virtual (Disk2VHD,P2V) tool for Microsoft Virtual PC or Hyper-V

October 19, 2009 13 comments

Free P2V physical to virtual (Disk to vhd) toolWhen I first read news about this free physical to virtual tool, I was happy for couple of reasons:

  • On projects, customers are often asking about some kind of free tool from Microsoft  to create VHD’s from physical computers. Of course till now we had Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), but to implement SCVMM customers need to buy appropriate licenses. Now they can try P2V with this great free tool.
  • Some times customers would like to try Hyper-V, and their main scenario is  P2V. Now if they don’t need all enterprise features of SCVMM, they can first use P2V.
  • P2V tool runs on running system, there is no need to shut down the computer.
  • Lastly but not less important, with this little bit very useful tool you have portable Physical To Virtual utility in your packet (I mean on your USB flash drive).

How to use the tool?

  1. Download tool from here. 
  2. Unzip it and run it on physical computer you would like to transform into virtual.
  3. User interface pops out in which you can check or uncheck disk which you would like to convert to VHD format.
  4. After VHD creation if finished, create virtual machine (Virtual PC or Hyper-V) as you normally would and attach VHD to it.
  5. Done.

Enjoy using this tool and big thank you to Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell for creating it.