System Center Virtual Machine Manager + TFS for automatic testing

Spent the last two days setting up a solution at a customer together with Mattias Olausson from Callista. Our customer wants automatic testing of the nightly builds of their software, a task managed manually until now.

The setup consists of two servers, one running TFS (Team Foundation Server) and another one running System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. Besides this we have a Hyper-V host for running the workloads. In SCVMM we’ve created four templates for the client operating systems that the tests should be run on, Windows 7 x86/x64 and Windows XP x86/x64. On these virtual machines we’ve installed all the necessary agents needed by TFS, converted them to templates in SCVMM and added sysprep.inf / unattend.xml to each template to enable a zero touch installation of each operating system.

In TFS Lab Manager you then create a testing project with a virtual infrastructure connected to it, and you select the templates you wish to run. TFS will then deploy the VM’s and run the tests you’ve configured. A report from the test will be written to your selected output directory and the VM’s will be destroyed.

If you’re interested in setting it up, the TFS team have a really good series of articles explaining everything in detail: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/03/29/setting-up-various-topologies-to-test-with-visual-studio-team-lab.aspx

There’s also a basic concept overview at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2009/05/18/vsts-2010-lab-management-basic-concepts.aspx

As far as SCVMM and Hyper-V goes you’ll find the basic configuration steps over at http://blogs.technet.com/b/scvmm/archive/2009/01/05/scvmm-2008-installation-step-by-step.aspx

And once you’ve got that up and running, you can run all your tests in the middle of the night and be a lot more productive during the days (sounded like straight from marketing, didn’t it…)!

TechEd New Orleans – Day 2

Left the convention center right after my TLC-duty yesterday to work on my demo. Spent a few hours in front of the computer and then decided to have dinner with Lidholm/Lindström/Edman, my partners in crime. My plan for dinner and one beer didn’t hold up so I came back to the hotel around 11 PM for some more demo work. Got up at 6 AM to finish the scripts, have breakfast and get ready.

My session went ok, one demo failed (which is a must, there’s always one that fails). Other than that my evals were “ok”, I missed out on the stuff that I should’ve thought about. Like font size, not zooming in and such easy things. Didn’t think of the fact that the session rooms here are like 4 times the size compared to Sweden. I know that now 🙂

The rest of the day will be spent in the Clustering TLC-booth, if you’re around and have a question or just wanna say hi you know where I’m at. Tonight we’ll go shopping, and we probably will end up at Bourbon Street like the rest of the attendees here…

If you’re not in New Orleans but wanna be part of it you can always watch http://www.msteched.com/ where Channel9 broadcasts live interviews. You can also find a lot of other content there.

Some other useful stuff I’ve learned today:
The System Center stuff found over at https://connect.microsoft.com/MSDSA will give you documentation and VHD’s for trying out / demonstrating System Center software. It’s on Connect as you can see, so you’ll need to sign in / sign up as usual on Connect.

Microsoft will support memory over-“allocation” (the term varies a little depending on how you see it) together with USB-devices in Hyper-V (through RDP-connected clients that is, not on the host-level). Full article here.

If you’re running Hyper-V and System Center Operations Manager you might be interested in the free management pack for Hyper-V. You can find that over at Bridgeways.ca!

And last but not least: Analyzing storage performance in Hyper-V or just monitoring performance, two really good articles.

Now, TLC-booth duty!

Preflight – TechEd North America 2010

Nothing is like the calm when you’re done with your presentation, the demo is working (just gotta decide which demo to run) and I’ve packed. Now I’ll hang on the balcony with a beer and a whisky and watch some episodes of Fringe and Mad Men, waiting for the wife to come home.

It’ll be interesting to see New Orleans and how much they’ve restored after Katrina. Have a great list over bars and clubs to visit, and it’ll be fun to meet my old colleagues again. I fear Howl At The Moon already!

Leaving tomorrow morning for Chicago / New Orleans and will post pictures and observations throughout the week.

Are you going? Tweet / email me and I’ll meet you there!