SCVMM: When the deployment of new VM template suddenly fails

2 Mar

Recently I ran in a very strange behavior when deploying a VM template with Server 2016 through VMM 2012 R2. First of all to enable the full support of Windows Server 2016-based VMs in VMM 2012 you need at least Update Rollup 11 Hotfix 1 installed. But even after installing  the latest UR (UR12 in my case), the deployment of a Server 2016 VM has failed.

The Issue:
Everytime when a new VM is deployed from a Server 2016 VM template the process fails at specialize phase of the sysprep. However all other existing templates with Server 2012 were working as expected.

Because in in this phase also the domain join happens I decided to give another try with a VM template which has no domain join configured. And tada, the VM was deployed successfully. 

The root cause:
With this finding my assumption was that, when the VM template is configure for domain join, VMM adds something in the unattend.xml which Server 2016 does not like that much. So I inspected the unattend.xml file of a failed deployment and there I found the following section which has looked a litte bit strange:

 Somehow the Domain of the domain join account was missing. 

The Solution:
So I checked the VMM Run As Account which was specified as domain join credentials in the VM template. And as you can see, we have also no domain information here.  

After changing the username to “domain\vm domain join” the deployment went through smooth as it should. Inspecting the unattend.xml file showed that the domain is now also correctly filled in.

Conslusion:
When the deployment of a new VM Template in VMM suddenly fails at the domain join step, double check the run as account and be sure that there is also the domain name in the username field.
In my case it was a template with Server 2016. But I think chances are good as the same could also happens with new VM templates with another guest OS.

Azure Backup the future (replacement) of DPM?

9 Oct

As Aidan Finn (and probably many others) wrote on his blog Microsoft has published a new Version of the Azure Backup Software. The new Software has now the ability to Backup workloads such as Hyper-V VM, SQL-Server, SharePoint and Exchange on premise to disk (B2D) and backup to the Cloud for long term retention. All in all, it sounds very similar to a DPM installation with the Azure Backup Agent. So it seems that DPM has a reborn, apart from the System Center Suite, as Azure Backup. So I decided to do a test installation and here is a how it looks like:

  1. Firs you need an Azure Subscription with Backup Vault. For my Test I create a new Vault:
    06-10-_2015_21-33-53
  2. Once the Backup Vault is created you can Download the new Azure Backup Setup:
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  3. In additional to the Azure Backup setup you must also download the Vault credentials which you need later in the setup:
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  4. After the Download you need to extract the files and then start setup.exe. And then the Setup Wizard start. If you are familiar with DPM you will notice the remarkable resemblance. Note the Link for DPM Protection Agent, DPM Remote Administration on the first Screen 😉

Finally, after Setup you have a Server with Azure Backup. The Console looks still like a DPM clone. Expect that the ability for Backup to Tape is missing everything is very similar to the Management Console from DPM 2012 R2:07-10-_2015_07-54-30

If MS will really use DPM as basis for the Azure Backup I am very curious to see how MS will tune the underlying DPM in the future to handle big data source like files servers with multiply TBs of Data which is not necessary abnormally these days. But that’s where DPM has really big drawback at the moment. We will 🙂

Registry keys to tune the data source colocation in DPM 2012

23 Aug

By default, DPM will create for every data source two volumes (a replica and a shadow copy volume). For Hyper-V and SQL Database DPM can colocation multiple data sources on a single replica an shadow copy volume. This is relatively well known setting. The option is especially useful for backup a large numbers of Hyper-V VMs.

What is less know, is the possibility to tune the initial size of the replica volume which DPM will choose when a new Protection Group with colocation is created. Continue reading