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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.

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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).

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.

Internet Explorer 6 with Windows 7 and XP mode

Internet Explorer 6 and 8 on Windows 7Nowadays XP mode is getting very popular because it is really useful feature of Windows 7, especially in enterprise business environment. Simply said with XP mode you can run fully licensed version of Windows XP along with Windows 7. Of course this Windows XP is virtualized and it has different features and possibilities than standard virtual XP with earlier versions of Virtual PC. Now with Windows Virtual PC beta, you have a great feature with seamlessly integrated applications installed in virtual Windows XP. So, with Windows Virtual PC beta (XP mode), shortcuts of application installed in virtual Windows XP, appear in your host Windows 7, as if  applications were installed  locally.  Of course you can see whole virtual Windows XP with start menu and desktop or you can only see applications.  All that said, it is clear that XP mode is similar to Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), but MED-V of course has more features like centralized management, various policies etc…

OK, so how can you publish application shortcuts of applications installed in virtual Windows XP, to your Windows 7 host. Well it is really very simple. All you have to do is install application as you normally would, in your Windows XP. For example, download one simple application, save it to Windows 7 desktop and then copy it to Windows XP desktop. Shared folders now work great with Windows Virtual PC beta, so you can navigate to any Windows 7 folder and copy application to Windows XP workspace. After that, just install application normally and you are done – application shortcuts are published by default to Windows 7 start menu in folder Windows Virtual PC >Virtual Windows Xp applications. So the procedure for newly installed applications is really simple, but what with Internet Explorer 6 that is already part of Windows Xp?

All you have to do in this case, is even easier.  Just create shortcut for Internet Explorer, in virtual Windows XP in following folder:  C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu. Same procedure works for XP command prompt, Outlook Express, My Documents etc… So after that, Internet Explorer 6 shortcut is published in Windows 7 start menu, and Internet Explorer is seamlessly integrated in Windows 7 as you can see in following picture.Windows 7 with IE6

Download Windows Virtual PC beta, and virtual image of Windows XP for free here and try it for yourself, it is rather simple.

Virtual PC based virtual machine inside Hyper-v based virtual machine?

April 28, 2009 1 comment