Tag : Windows Server 2008 R2

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.

FAQ
Q:           Do the Linux Integration Services enable mouse support?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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.

Microsoft RemoteFX for Remote Desktop Services – Terminal Server

Windows introduces a new set of remote user-experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops. RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops. Microsoft RemoteFX leverages the power of virtualized graphics resources and advanced codecs to recreate the fidelity of hardware-assisted graphics acceleration, including support for 3D content and Windows Aero®.  RemoteFX is a new set of technologies that will be integrated into the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to improve the remote end-user experience by building on the improvements Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 made related to bi-directional audio, Windows Media Player playback redirection to the client, and desktop composition (enabling remote Aero).
RemoteFX expands this rich end-user experience to other types of workloads, such as 3D applications, DirectX, WPF, Silverlight, and basically any media type, giving remote users an experience that’s equivalent to local execution. The exact technologies to be included are still being finalized and could change up until release time. RemoteFX builds on technologies Microsoft got as part of the Calista Technologies acquisition.  RemoteFX will be available to users who connect to Server 2008 R2 SP1 Remote Desktop Services or Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops using the SP1 Remote Desktop Connection client.

Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack

It’s now been over a year since the release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, so that means it’s just about time for the first service pack.  With the core operating system being based on the same code, the service pack release will be for both products.  A release candidate for Service Pack 1 is available at the link below, but I highly recommend you read the FAQ’s in the link below also.  Once you install the SP1 Release Candidate 1, there is no upgrade path to the released version of SP1. Consulting companies must either reinstall the operating system, or uninstall the RC version, which is likely not a clean process.  As usual, this service pack is a colletion of security updates and hotfixes, but there are a few enhancements as well.  The ones that caught my eye as I read through the notes are RemoteFX and Hyper-V Dynamic Memory.  First, RemoteFX is an enhancement to the already revamped Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2.  RemoteFX offers support for remote USB devices, 3D graphics and video, as well as enhanced encryption and management.  The idea is to be able to provide high quality multimedia experiences in a Remote Desktop session that is similar to the experience that a user can have on their local Windows 7 computer.

Second, Hyper-V Dynamic Memory is a technology that allows a Hyper-V host to dynamically allocate memory to virtual machine guests as needed.  VMWare supports overallocation of memory, which is allowing more memory to be allocated to guest virtual machines than there is physical memory.  With Hyper-V, guest virtual machines could not be configured for more memory than what is available on the host.  In my opinion, this was a critical shortcoming in Hyper-V and it appears that Microsoft has addressed this with Hyper-V Dynamic Memory in SP1.

It appears that we will have another 3 to 6 months before we can see SP1 released.  You can use the links below to download evaluations, check out the FAQ’s and find out some more in-depth information about the new features in this release.

Download
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=194726

RemoteFX
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817578(WS.10).aspx

Hyper-V Dynamic Memory
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817651(WS.10).aspx

FAQ
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ff384134.aspx