Using Windows Server 8 for Building Private and Public IaaS Clouds

Speakers: Jeff Woolsey and Yigal Edery of Microsoft.

Was the cloud optimization of Windows Server 8 mentioned yet? Probably not, but it’s mentioned now.

– Enable multi tenant clouds: isolation and security
– High scale and low cost data centres
– Managable and extensible: they are pushing PowerShell here

Windows Server 8 should make building a IaaS much easier.

Evolution of the data centre (going from least to most scalable):

1) Dedicated servers, no virtualisation, and benefit of hardware isolation
2) Server virtalisation, with benefits of server consolidation, some scale out, and heterogeneous hardware
3) Cloud with Windows 8: Shared compute, storage, network. Multi-tenancy, converged network and hybrid clouds. Benefits of infrastructure utilization increase, automatic deployment and migration of apps, VMs, and services. Scaling of network/storage.

Enable Multi-Tenant Cloud
What is added?
– Secure isolation between tenants: Hyper-V extensible swich (routing, etc), Isolation policies (can define what a VM can see in layer 2 networking), PVLANs
– Dynamic Placement of Services: Hyper-V network virtualisation, complete VM mobility, cross-premise connectivity (when you move something to the cloud, it should still appear on the network as internal for minimal service disruption)
– Virtual Machine Metering: Virtual Machine QoS policies, resource meters (measure activity of VM over time, and those metric stay with a VM when it is moved), performance counters

– Tenant wants to easily move VMs to and from the cloud
– Hoster wants to place VMs anywhere in the data center
– Both want: easy onboarding, flexibility and isolation

The Hyper-V extensible switch has pVLAN functionality. But managing VLANs is not necessarily the way you want to go. 4095 maximum VLANs. And absolute nightmare to maintain, upgrade, or replace. IP address management is usually controlled by the hoster.

Network virtualisation aims to solve these issues. VM has two IPs: one it thinks it is using, and one that it really is using. “Each virtual network has illusiion it is running as a physical fabric”. The abstraction of IP address make the VM more mobile. Virtualisation unbinds server and app from physical hardware. Network virtualisation unbinds server and app from physical network.

Mobility Design
Rule 1: no new features that preclude Live Migration
Rule 2: maximise VM mobility with security

Number 1: recommendation is Live Migration with High Availability
Number 2: SMB Live Migration
Number 3: Live Storage Migration

Live Storage Migration enables:
– Storage load balancing
– No owntime servicing
– Leverages Hyper-V Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX): pass a secure token to a storage array to get it to move large amounts of data for you. Possibly up to 90% faster.

You can Live Migrate a VM with just a 1 Gbps connection and nothing else. VHDX makes deployment easier. Get more than 2040 GB in a vDisk without the need to do passthrough disk which requires more manual and exceptional effort. Add in the virtual fibre channel HBA with MPIO and you reduce the need for physical servers for customer clusters in fibre channel deployments.

Bandwitdh management is an option in the virtual network adapter. You can restrict bandwidth for customers with this. IPsec offload can be enabled to reduced CPU utilisation.

Upto 63 nodes in a cluster, with up to 4,000 VMs. That’s one monster cluster.

QoS and Resource Metering
Network: monitor incoming andoutgoing traffic per IP address
Sotrage: high water mark disk allocation
Memory: high and low water mark memory, and average

We get a demo of resource meters being used to rught size VMs.

Dynamic Memory gets a new setting: Minimum RAM. Startup RAM could give a VM 1024MB, but the VM could reduce to Minimum RAM of 512MB if there is insufficient pressure.

High scale and low cost data centres:
– The vCPU:pCPU ratio limit has been removed from Hyper-V support… just squeeze in what you can without impacting VM performance
– Up to 160 logical processors
– Up to 2 TB RAM

– Dynamic VMQ
– Single root I/O virtualiation (SR-IOV): dedicate a pNIC to a VM
– Receive side scalling (RSS)
– Receive side coalescing (RSC)
– IPsec task offload

– SMB 2.2
– 4K native disk support

HA and Data Protection
– Windows NIC teaming across different vendors of NIC!
– Hyper-V Replica for DR to scondary site – either one I own or a cloud provider
– BitLocker: Physically safeguard customers’ data. Even if you lose the disk the data is protected by encryption. You can now encrypt cluster volumes. TPMs can be leveraged for the first time with Hyper-V cluster shared disks. Cluster Names Obkect (CNO) used to lock and unlock disks.

Managable and Extensible
– PowerShell for Hyper-V by MSFT for the first time. Can use WMI too, as before.
– Workflows across many servers.
– Hyper-V Extensible switch to get visibility into the network
– WMIv2/CIM, OData, Data Center TCP is where a whitepaper will appear in the next week on this topic.

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