Once you check out and take some time off, lots of stuff goes down. Like the release of the System Center 2012 suite of software. This is, to quote Microsoft, a game changer. A unified installer, and new versions of the different management components gives you a whole new level of control.
The whole suite is now better prepared to cooperate and you can automate lots of steps thanks to Orchestrator. This makes it easier for IT to deliver their services to the business in an automated and efficient way, previously only possible by using third party products and addons.
Get the 180 day trial of Microsoft System Center or read more here!
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…)!
Spent my Saturday attending a windsurfing course here in Stockholm. The conditions were ok, gusty winds and no rain at least. Me and Mdid fairly well I must say, with me falling off the board once and M three. Afterwards we had a picnic in the park, watched the skateboarders and finished off with a tour through the “scary forest”. Today was supposed to be another day filled with surfing, but due to NO wind and rain we decided to cancel. Me, M and F took a coffee at Il Caffé instead and read all the newspapers in a roundtable way.
And for the virtualization people out there, don’t miss that the pre-RC version of SCVMM is available on Microsofts Connect-site. Of course you need to be a member and enroll in the program, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Fredrik and I had the opportunity to build a proof of concept environment showcasing various aspects of federated web SSO for a customer. The requirements, while not overly strict, mandated that we build an environment consisting of three federation parties: One resource partner hosting some form of claims-aware web application and the remaining two acting as account partners supplying users.
Before building an environment like this it is helpful to have something to run it on and therefore part one of this epic series we will focus on the set up of the environment and how we right at the start got completely sidetracked by some new features in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).
We started out with a HP ML370 with a quad-core CPU, 6 GB of RAM and a total of 290 GB disc. Techies as we are we unanimously decided that it wouldn’t be enough to run our entire Hyper-V based demo environment. One phone call and a few hours later we were at 20 GB of RAM. And if Joachim at this point hadn’t dragged up the System Center Virtual Machine Manager beta and its ESX managing capabilities we would have started building the demo right then and there. Like children in a toy store we said “Demo? What demo?” to each other and rushed off to commandeer a HP ML350 with a quad-core CPU, 12 GB of RAM , 438 GB disc for a VM Ware ESX installation.
The only thing that disturbed our nerd nirvana was the networking aspect which consisted of a really old and slow DLINK switch that can at best be described as cute. It just had to go.
Virtual Machines in our demo environment
SCVMM Job list
Virtual Center Overview
All your base are belong to us (the virtual machines)
After we figured out the virtual machine template feature in SVCMM our environment quickly got taken over by a horde of virtual machines. To the tune of Baby one more time by Britney Spears we deployed virtual machines like Darth Vader deployed Tie Fighters in episode 2 (or was it 5?). This lead to the inevitable: overload!
After some cleaning up we started configuring our demo environment, which we will tell you about in the forthcoming episodes.