KB2770917 Updating Host & Guest Integration Services Components – Most Current Version Depends on Guest OS

As after installing http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2770917 on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V hosts the integration services components are upgraded from 6.2.9200.16384 to 6.2.9200.16433. Windows Server 2012 guest get that same upgrade and as such also the newer integration services components. The guest with older OS version needed a different approach. So I turned to all the great PowerShell support now available for Hyper-V to automate this. Pretty pleased with the results of our adventures in PowerShell scripting I let the script go on Hyper-V cluster dedicated to test & development. As such there are some virtual machines on there running Windows 2003 SP2 (X64) and Windows XP SP3 (x86).  Guess what, after running my script and verifying the integration services version I see that those VM still report version 6.2.9200.16384 . No update. Didn’t my new scripting achievement “take” on those older guests?

So I try the install manually and this is what I get:

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Why is there no upgrade for these guests?  Are they not needed or do I have an issue? So I mount the ISO and dig around in the files to find a clue in the date:

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It looks like there are indeed no update components in there for Windows XP/ W2K3. So then I look at the following registry key on the host where I normally use the Microsoft-Hyper-V-Guest-Installer-Win6x-Package value to find out what integration services version my hosts are running:

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Bingo, there it seems indicated that we indeed need version for XP/W2K3 and version for W2K8(R2)/W2K12 and Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8. Cool, but I had to check if this was indeed as it should be and I’m happy to confirm all is well. Ben Armstrong (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/) confirmed that this is how it should be. There was a update needed for backup that only applied to Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 guests.  As this fix was in a common component for Windows Server 2008 and later they all got the update. But for the older OS versions this was not the case and hence no update is need. Which is reflected in all the above. In short, this means your XP SP3 & W2K3SP2 VMs are just fine running the version of the integration services and are not in any kind of trouble.

This does leave me with an another task. I was planning to do enhancements to my script like feedback on progress, some logging, some better logic for clustered and non clustered environments, but now I have to also address this possibility and verify using the registry keys on the host which IC version I should check against per OS version. Checking against just for the one related to the host isn’t good enough Smile.

Don’t Be Afraid To Learn PowerShell, You’ll Need It & You’ll Learn To Love It!

As I started my career in IT doing data crunching, OLAP & development in VBA & VB5.00/6.0 it isn’t that surprising I’ve done most of my automation in VBScript. I’m very familiar with it and even in the Windows 2008 Core era it was very useful as we didn’t have .NET in it at that time, meaning no PowerShell (no, the unsupported hack to get it on there does not count).

The first real PowerShell use for me came with Exchange 2007. That worked out pretty well, but at the time we didn’t use it for much more than Exchange. Today, more and more I’m starting to use PowerShell versus VBScript. For one sometimes VBScript can’t get it done, it’s not being developed any more in its capabilities and two, PowerShell commandlets do pack a serious punch!

Since Windows Server 2008 R2 PowerShell has gotten better overall support and with Windows 8 it is everywhere, natively. That’s very good and it means we can do all we need to do now (well a whole lot of it) in PowerShell. And then I haven’t even mentioned the entire workflow support in Windows 8 PowerShell!  As an old VB guy I had to get over my dislike for curly braces. I also need to earn the different syntax and especially the way in which to use the programming constructs (control flow, sub routines, operators, data types).

A lot of people tend to focus on the one liners. These are great and powerful, but they often reminded me of the old discussion with C/C++ developers about code readability & maintainability.  For that purpose we don’t mind that the code is more verbose. One liners are not the goal  but they are fun. Just remember that all code, how small it may be, one day will have to be maintained. The more readable, logical and easy to understand it is, the better. The whole “self documenting” thingy Smile.  One liners do not always fit in here. But to demonstrate I have nothing against them I’ll show you a real easy example for all you out there dealing with the jump to PowerShell. If you get hooked on one liners just be sure to use them with reason and go visit the blog of Jeff Wouters , you’ll become good scripting buddies.

Let’s say in VBScript you needed to format a date in a specific way. In VBScript you have a very limited number of format option to use. So when you want something funky like “20120414” (YearMonthDay) as a date format you’d use a function that builds that string and pads the numbers with zero if needed. You can either write a generic function to handle all possible date needs or a custom/purpose built one for just the needs at hand.

Just to get the gist of this, it could look a bit like this:

WScript.echo FormatDateForMyNeed() PrivateFunction FormatDateForMyNeed () Dim sDate, sYear, sMonth, sDay sDate =Now() sYear =Year(sDate) sMonth =Month(sDate) IfLen(sMonth) =1Then sMonth ="0"& sMonth sDay =Day(sDate) IfLen (sDay) =1Then sDay ="0"& sDay FormatDateForMyNeed = sYear & sMonth & sDay End Function

Driven by “routine” & a VBScript background you could mash up some functions in PowerShell and make it a convoluted scripting exercise:

function BuildDate { $date=Get-Date $String= [string]$date.year $MONTH= [String]$date.month $String+= PadString "0"2$Month$DAY= [String]$date.day $String+= PadString "0"2$DAYReturn$String } function PadString ($PadChar, $PaddedLength, [String]$StringToPad) { $StringToPad= ($padChar* ($PaddedLength-$stringToPad.length)) +$stringToPadReturn$StringToPad } BuildDate

But PowerShell has way better date format support than VBScript and you can just write this:

Get-Date -format "yyyyMMdd"

Now that’s a one liner I have nothing against and yes, it saves a whole lot of effort. Sure this is a real simple example but it proves a point. Do your self a favor, take out a couple of hours a week and dabble around in PowerShell. You’ll add a valuable time saving tool to your inventory and gain a precious skillset Smile for a bright future! Need a good example? See this blog post by Janssen Jones to see some workflow goodness and what it can do.

No Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell After Upgrading to Windows Server 8?

When I upgraded some of my Hyper-V hosts from Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 8 I noticed I wanted to do some experiments using the Hyper-v Module for Windows PowerShell. So the first thing I did was install the Windows PowerShell integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) via the Add Roles and Features Wizard on my client. You don’t usually install this on your servers.

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We opted to restart automatically if required, so we get a warning this server might restart.

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Windows PowerShell ISE is installing

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We are informed of our successful installation.installISE3

That was easy and no reboot required. So we launch ISE and start testing some commands of our new Hyper-V Module. But that doesn’t do much for us. Nothing happens.get-command 1

 

So I try some more commands. But no luck, just some errors that the commands are not recognized or Get-Help can’t find anything of that command.  I also not that for non of the Hyper-V commands I have any IntelliSense support.

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No jio

So it seams the Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is not installed. But I can’t make that out from the Roles Wizard.

I needed to get this going fast so I uninstalled the Hyper-V role and than added it again. That did the trick as now the Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is also installed because I can execute commands

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Just install the Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell via Features

But after discussing this with Microsoft it turns out that uninstalling and reinstalling the Hyper-V role is not necessary at all. You see when you upgrade a Window 2008 R2 node to Windows 8 it does not install Hyper-V by default as this would change the original install base and they try not to install features you didn’t have before during an upgrade. On a clean install where you add the Hyper-V role you won’t have this issue as the Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is installed by default. What confused me is that I didn’t see an option under Roles to add Role Services to roles as I was used to do in Windows 2008 R2. There is no sub tree or anything.

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I was thinking along the same path in Windows 8 but here we can find it in the in “Add Roles and Features Wizard” under Features / Remote Server Administration Tools sub tree. That has two entries. One for Feature Administration Tools and one for Role Administration tools and und the latter we find the Hyper-V Management Tools with Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell. Just a tip Smile

You can add it your self after the upgrade by going to Server Manager and starting the Add Roles & Features Wizard.

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You go through the normal steps and select to install Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell.

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We are asked for confirmation of our request actions.

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The Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is being installed.

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And we have a successful install. We can start scripting on that node right way Smile

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Happy scripting!

Some Feedback On How to defrag a Hyper-V R2 Cluster Shared Volume

Hans Vredevoort posted a nice blog entry recently on the defragmentation of Clustered Shared Volumes and asked for some feedback & experiences on this subject. He describes the process used and steps taken to defrag your CSV storage and notes that there may be third party products that can handle this automatically. Well yes, there are. Two of the most know defragmentation products support Cluster Shared Volumes and automate the process described by Hans in his blog.  Calvin made a very useful suggestion to use Redirected Access instead of Maintenance mode. This is what the commercial tools like Raxco PerfectDisk and Diskeeper also do.

As the defragmentation of Cluster Shared Volumes requires them to be put into Redirected Access you should not have “always on” defragmentation running in a clustered Hyper-V node. Sure the software will take care of it all for you but the performance hit is there and is considerable. I might just use this point here as yet another plug for 10 Gbps networks for CSV Smile. Also note that the defragmentation has to run on the current owner or coordinator node. Intelligent defragmentation software should know what node to run the defrag on, move the ownership to the desired node that is running the defragmentation or just runs it on all nodes and skips the CSVs storage it isn’t the coordinator for. The latter isn’t that intelligent. John Savill did a great blog post on this before Windows 2008 R2 went RTM for Windows IT Pro Magazine where he also uses PowerShell scripts to move the ownership of the storage to the node where he’ll perform the defragmentation and retrieves the GUID of the disk to use with the  defrag command. You can read his blog post here and see how our lives have improved with the commands he mentions would be available in the RTM version of W2K8R2 (Repair-ClusterSharedVolume  with –defrag option).

For more information on Raxco PerfectDisk you can take a look at the Raxco support article, but the information is rather limited. You can also find some more information from Diskeeper on this subject here.  I would like to add that you should use defragmentation intelligently and not blindly. Do it with a purpose and in a well thought out manner to reap the benefits. Don’t just do it out of habit because you used to do it in DOS back in the day Smile.

To conclude I’ll leave you with some screenshots from my lab, take during the defragmentation of a Hyper-V cluster node.

As you can see the CSV storage is put into redirected access:

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And our machines remain on line and  available:

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This is because we started to defrag it on the Hyper-V cluster node:

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Here you can see that the guest files are indeed being defragmented, in this case the VHD for the guest server Columbia (red circle at bottom):

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