Ignite 2015: VMM Overview & Roadmap

Session: BRK2473

Note: This session was 50% about what’s new in VMM 2012 R2, with 15-20 minutes on what’s new in VMM 2016. My take away is that MS is trying to listen to customers and make the product easier to use. But don’t expect any radical changes in VMM (which I think are needed) …just specific feature updates to keep up with the Hyper-V platform. They didn’t stay very long on the VMM 2016 slide, so I didn’t capture everything. See the session recording if you want the full scoop.

SCVMM 2012

Update Rollup 6 was just released – New functionality added

VMM team is now shipping new features in URs, versus having to wait for an entire new release

Microsoft made a point of including user and automated feedback into the design of VMM, and bug fixes.

New Improvements in UR5/UR6:

  • DHCP extension update
  • New Linux OS versions added
  • Maintenance mode behavior fixed
  • Improved performance over WAN links
  • Quicker VM deletion
  • SQL 2014 support
  • Integrate SAN remote replication with ASR
  • New management of vSphere 5.5
  • Added Azure & AWS connectivity & VM support
  • ..many other on the list

Want to get early drops? http://aka.ms/joford

VMM 2016:

  • Ease of use – workflow for host and storage cluster creation; simplified logical switch creation and deployment; Flexible bare mental provisioning; Improved diff disk managment
  • Security and Infrastruture – Deploy guarded hosts, manage guarded hosts, protect tenant secrets, improved state consistency
  • Expanded fabric management – Storage replication automation using Azure site recovery; Scale-out file server with SAN storage automation; storage QoS policy management.

TechEd: Windows Server 2012 R2 IPAM for Clouds (MDC-B376)

Starting off Day 3 of TechEd 2013 is a session on Windows Server 2012 R2 networking for cloud services. He covers what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 IPAM (and touching on DNS and DHCP). Windows Server 2012 shipped with major new features, and R2 builds on those features and better integrates them. IPAM in WS2012 was pretty bare bones, but far better than not managing your address space or using Excel spreadsheets that are never up to date.

IPAM in R2 gets a lot of major new features, and deep integration with VMM 2012 R2 to manage virtualized multi-tenant datacenters.  Some features like GUI-based scheduled DNS/DHCP record import are still missing, but are fully exposed through powershell for easy scripting. If you aren’t using an IPAM tool today, take a good look at Windows Server 2012 R2. The preview version will be out later this month, so you don’t have to wait long to try it out.

Windows Server 2012 ReCap

  • Existing IPAM options: Spreadsheets, in-house tools, commercial appliances
  • In-box IPAM: Compliments DNS and DHCP services. Ability to organize, assign and monitor IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
  • Automatic discovery of DC, DHCP and DNS servers dynamic IP addresses
  • Track and audit changes and provide real-time view of service status
  • Multi-server management to manage all DNS and DHCP servers
  • DHCP and DNS have major new features: DHCP failover (active/active config), DHCP policies (group difference devices and assign different address to them (e.g. printers, phones for proxy settings, etc.). DNSSEC cache poisoning protection.

R2 Address Space Demo:

  • Shows IPAM DHCP scope utilization and health status
  • Shows you can now group IP address blocks by geographic regions. You can then filter views by region and drill down into countries or regions and see all scopes and IP address assignments.

Server 2012 R2 Enhancements

  • WS 2012 R2 Network environment: Host or Enterprise, multi-tenant and multiple datacenters with virtual networks
  • Ability to setup DHCP failover across datacenters
  • Supports virtual networks (administered by Fabric administrators)

IPAM 2012 R2 Enhancements

  • IPAM now manages and monitors both physical and virtual addresses
  • Integrated with VMM 2012 R2 and makes all address info available to VMM
  • All-new role based access control in IPAM. Granular control over what admin tasks people can perform.
  • Plan, design and administer IP address schemes of virtualized datacenters
  • Support network isolation WNV, VLAN
  • Enhanced service monitoring
  • Single and multi-entity configuration of reservations, scopes, failovers, policies, filters, etc.
  • External database support (SQL)
  • CIM based PowerShell – 100% parity with GUI

Virtualized Networks

  • Provider address space: Physical network address space
  • Logical networks in VMM are customer address space
  • Customer can bring in their own address space, which may overlap with other address spaces
  • Must deploy network virtualized networks (e.g. NVGRE) to keep address spaces isolated

IPAM-VMM Integration

  • IPAM has a view of both physical and virtualized address space
  • Network admin tasks (fabric layer): Configure address space, subnets, pools, VLANs. Then creates subnets, pools and logical networks, and then the config is pushed to VMM. Changes in VMM are pushed back to IPAM. Conflict detection, notification and updates, changes and meta-data are all synchronized. All configuration is done in IPAM by the network admin.


  • New “Virtualized Address Space” node in IPAM
  • “Managed by Service” column that shows VMM or IPAM service that controls the subnet config
  • “Service instance” column shows which VMM instance is assigned that subnet. Subnet now appears in VMM console.
  • Shows VMM synchronization with IPAM when subnets are pushed to VMM
  • When creating a VM network in VMM, he shows that the config is pushed to IPAM as a customer network

Role Based Access Control

  • Granular admin control within IPAM, DNS, DHCP. Five step process:
  • 1) Define a user role (operations an admin can perform)
  • 2) Define business hierarchy model based on the desired administration levels and controls
  • 3) Define access policy based on configured use role and access scope and associate users or groups
  • 4) Set/associate access scope to objects in IPAM
  • 5) New access control for leaf nodes or inherited from parent

DHCP/DNS Integration

  • Monitoring: Server availability, DHCP scope utilization, DNS zone health, DHCP failover health
  • Management: DHCP server, scopes, properties, options, filters, policies, classes, DNS records, etc.

DHCP Management and RBAC Demo

  • Shows the ability in IPAM to configure DHCP scope failover on remote DHCP servers
  • Shows the new “Access control” node in IPAM. 12+ pre-configured roles. Shows the ability to create a new custom role. Dozens of operations available to delegate and add to a custom role.
  • Shows the ability to create network hierarchies (e.g. in a city you can create a building).
  • Shows the ability to create an “Access Policy”, then bind the access policy to a DHCP scope for delegation
  • Shows the creation of a new R2 “FQDN” DHCP policy in the IPAM tool. Able to specify that all clients that do NOT contain *.contoso.com in their hostname get registered in DNS with guest.com instead.

External System Integration

  • IPAM PowerShell interface facilitates integration with other external systems like SCCM and MAP toolkit
  • Integration with AD Directory Services enables synchronization of site and services and subnets information

TechEd: Storage Management with VMM 2012 R2 (MDC-B344)

This session focused on both the platform storage enhances in Windows Server 2012 R2 in addition to VMM 2012 R2. Microsoft was very up front that the 2012 release baked in a huge amount of technology into the platform (OS), but not all of it was exposed through VMM 2012 and even in SP1. In the R2 release both the platform and VMM have been more fully integrated and a lot of new features added. Going forward Windows and System Center will ship on the same schedule. Within Microsoft the OS and System Center teams have been re-aligned into the same org. Just like VMware ships the hypervisor and the mangement suite at the same time, Microsoft is now on the same cadence.

I didn’t get a screenshot, but the presenter had a slide showing the storage features in every version of VMM dating back to 2007. Starting with 2012 there was an explosion in features, with more added in SP1 (shipped in January 2013) and a lot more in R2. The pace at which Microsoft is enhancing the hypervisor and management stack is pretty astounding.

This session was supposed to be heavy on demos, but the speaker’s VPN connection back to the mother ship was not behaving. For his storage demos he was going to use a 3PAR to demonstrate the fibre channel LUN provisioning features in VMM 2012 R2, and NetApp for the SMB 3.0 file share demo. VMM has a lengthy list of storage arrays which are natively supported. If you are a 3PAR customer, you will need 3.1.2 MU1 for full VMM 2012 R2 support.

Storage Management Pillars

  • Insight: end to end mapping, pool, volume and file share classification, monitoring, standards based
  • Flexibility: Provisioning of pools, LUNs, file shares, scalable, allocation and assignment, FC zoning, zone aliases
  • Automation: Rapid provisioning, scale out file server, disaster recovery, bare metal Hyper-V host provisioning, ODX

R2 Enterprise Storage Management

  • More optimized storage discovery (e.g. a 3PAR with hundreds of disks) or VMAX with thousands of LUNs
  • Real-time updates for out of band changes using CIM indications
  • Fibre channel fabric discovery and zone provisioning and activation of zone sets
  • Support for Hyper-V virtual fibre channel
  • ODX optimized virtual machine deployments (copy VM from library)
  • Rapid provisioning using difference disks

Storage Provisioning for Tier 1 Application Demo

  • Fibre Channel switches
  • Hyper-V Host with 2 FC ports
  • Service template to model computer with two virtual HBAs

New to VMM 2012 R2

  • 10x faster SMI-S enumeration
  • Management of scale-out file server underlying spaces storage
  • Added remoting and cluster-awareness for managing storage spaces
  • Abilitity to assign storage and fabric classification at the volume or SMB share level. Allows finer grain SLA control.
  • Fully support iSCSI targets for storage
  • Support for SMB 3.02 (new to WS2012 R2)
  • Spaces provisioning: Discovery of physical spindles, storage pool creation and deletion, mirror and parity spaces creation and deletion
  • Capacity management: pool/volume/file share classification; file share ACL management
  • Scale-out file server deployment: bare metal deployment, creation of scale-out file server cluster, add/remove nodes, file share management