Tag : Linux

Microsoft Finally Announces SQL Server on Linux

WP18After the long and rocky relationship between Microsoft and Linux, the dust has finally settled with the release of the Microsoft SQL Server, compatible with Linux.  The Microsoft SQL Server hosts an array of new features including end-to-end encryption, in-memory support, and more advanced business intelligence capabilities. The news broke when Executive Vice President of Microsoft, Scott Guthrie, released a blog post headlining the SQL Server as a cross platform performer, excelling both on premises and in the cloud.

Guthrie writes, “SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution.” Finally Microsoft and Linux have reached an understanding.

The collaboration stems from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who has encouraged in full force that Microsoft and Linux can and will work well together. The company has now enabled support for Linux on Microsoft Azure, as well as partnered with companies such as Hortonworks and Ubuntu on Linux support. In addition to this Microsoft has also launched open-source efforts including open-sourcing ASP.NET. The lion’s share of Microsoft’s code has also been moved off of CodePlex and onto GitHub.

SQL Server for Linux is currently available in a private beta, and will roll out in early 2017.

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Upgrading The Intergration Services with SP1

With the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and the addition of Dynamic Memory, I’ve received a few requests for the link to the latest version of the Integration Services. If you’ve upgraded to R2 Service Pack 1, you have the latest Integration Services. There are a few scenarios to consider.

Guest OS is Linux. If the guest OS is Linux and you’re running the latest Linux Integration Services 2.1, you don’t need to do anything. You have the latest. For more info, see attached.

Guest OS is Windows Server 2008 R2. If the guest OS was Windows Server 2008 R2 and you upgraded the guest to Service Pack 1, then the Integration Services were upgraded as well. (How cool is that?)

Other Supported Windows Guests: If you’re running any other supported Windows OS, then you’ll need to upgrade the Integration Services. The Integration Services ISO is included with Hyper-V. When you upgrade to SP1, the Integration Services are automatically updated as well. To upgrade the Integration Services, you need to:
1.      Start the VM

2.      Connect to the VM

3.      Go to the Action Menu and Select the bottom menu item, Insert Integration Services Setup Disk.

4.      Run the Integration Services installer and restart the VM. Done.

Q:           Do the Linux Integration Services enable mouse support?
Mouse support is not included in the Linux integration services.  However, see the read me for information on where to obtain the InputVSC driver that provides mouse support when used over a RDP connection.

Q:           Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 supported?
At this time Red Hat 6.0 (currently) in beta is not supported. Our goal is to work with Red Hat to back port the Hyper-V Linux integration services from kernel.org tree. However, this will only happen once our drivers are out of the staging area in the kernel. We don’t have a timeline for this yet, but will share more information on this as we continue to work with the Linux community.

Q:           Did Citrix develop these drivers?
No.  The Linux IC’s were developed by a team in the Microsoft Open Source Technology Center.
Many thanks to Hank Janssen and his team, including Haiyang Zhang and Hashir Abdi.

Q:           Do I need to run the Xen kernel with the hypercall shim?
No, the Xen kernel is no longer used.

Q:           How does this relate to the announcement of Microsoft contributing the Linux IC code under GPLv2 to the Linux kernel?
This package provides integration components for the distributions that we support (SLES and Red Hat). Once the IC’s that have been merged into the kernel are available in distributions, we will gradually phase out the separate IC package.

Q:           Is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1 supported?
No, not yet. Now that we have RTM’d version 2.1, Novell will back port these into an update for SLES 11 SP1 which will be released by Novell in the next few months. Thereafter, customers will get the Hyper-V Linux IS’s as a part of the SLES 11 SP1 distribution. No separate download or installation will be required.

Q:           Will these capabilities be contributed into the mainline Linux kernel?
Yes, we will submit patches with these capabilities to the Linux mainline kernel as well.

We are really excited to announce the availability of the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services for Linux Version 2.1. This release marks yet another milestone in providing a comprehensive virtualization platform to our customers. Customers who have a heterogeneous operating system environment desire their virtualization platform to provide support for all operating systems that they have in their datacenters. Microsoft have supported Linux as a guest operating system on our virtualization platform from the days of Virtual Server and continue to enhance our support in that regard.

The following features are included in the 2.1 release:
Driver support for synthetic devices: Linux Integration Services supports the synthetic network controller and the synthetic storage controller that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.
Timesync: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain synchronized with the clock on the host.
Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be gracefully shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support: Supported Linux distributions can use up to 4 virtual processors (VP) per virtual machine.
Heartbeat: Allows the host to detect whether the guest is running and responsive.
Pluggable Time Source: A pluggable clock source module is included to provide a more accurate time source to the guest.

This version of the integration services for Hyper-V supports Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 / 5.3 / 5.4 / 5.5.

Using Synergy to control multiple computers with one keyboard and Mouse.

I recently found this neat little piece of software called Synergy that allows you to control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse. I was a little skeptical at first, but I am really glad I decided to test it out because I was more than pleased.

Synergy is free and open source software (FOSS) that basically requires only a LAN connection. The program itself basically uses a NetBIOS like name to determine which computers to connect to and you can set that name within the program itself. Also, it uses a client server architecture, where one computer acts as the server and the others act as the clients. Once it is all setup, you can move your mouse seamlessly from one PC to another, even using multiple monitors on each PC.  As you would imagine though, you can’t drag windows across multiple machines as you would have hardware and software issues, but it does have a shared clipboard (though mainly for text). This even lets you share the mouse between different operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac OS).


Setup is pretty simple. You install the application on the workstations you want to use, which takes a matter of seconds and you’re ready to configure.

The GUI is fairly simple as you see below. I’m using this particular computer as the so called “server”, as you can see I have selected the share this computer’s keyboard and mouse (server) option.  On the other computer you would select the first option and type the other computers host name which can be configured under the advanced tab.

You will then have to click the configure button to tell the program where each computer is located. For example, you have to tell it computer1 is to the left of computer2 so it knows which screen to switch to when you hit the edge of the screen. In this particular case I have also reversed that to say computer2 is to the right of computer1.

All you need to do then is start the Synergy that is configured as the server, and then start the client second. If you have configured your settings correctly, then everything should work. Enjoy!

Our Favorite Storage Area Network: Net App FAS3140 – Which Storage Area Network Is Best | BVA IT Consulting Blog

BVA’s new favorite SAN is the FAS3100 series which is pretty cool in terms of price points versus features offered.  Its scalable, easy to deploy, and price aggressive.  It has the following attributes that are in line of why we have this viewpoint:

  • Low overhead Double Parity RAID-DP offers better data protection and capacity utilization than RAID 5 and RAID 1+0.
  • Snapshot feature helps reduce backup time to minutes.
  • SnapRestore feature recovers point-in-time data, also in minutes.
  • SnapManager feature quickly returns applications to the same point in time as recovered data.

NetApp has a innovative thin provisioning that eliminates stranded storage. And you can make data-in-place upgrades to more powerful FAS systems.  This could be your primary and secondary storage unit.  It’s extremely easy to install, provision, manage, and upgrade so you can quickly adapt your storage infrastructure to meet changing business and technical needs.  The FAS3100 SAN systems enable you to connect your heterogeneous server environment (including Windows, UNIX, and Linux servers) and clients to one storage system by using standard storage protocols and interfaces.

In terms of cost they roughly are between $35,000 to $60,000 depending on Disk Total, single or dual controller, SATA versus SAS, and NIC speed connections.