MMS 2012: Day One

Posted On 2012-04-15 by dwirch
Keywords: Microsoft Management Summit MMS 2012 SCOM SCCM HyperV Virtualization MSVMC
Tags: MMS 2012 Blog General 
Views: 1401

The first day of any conference is usually pretty hectic. You have to travel to get there, get checked in at the conference, get checked in at the hotel, etc. It's mainly a travel day. However, There are a couple of good presentations on the first of of MMS that I thought would be useful, and I was able to squeeze them in.

Read on to check out my first day of MMS 2012.

When I arrived at the Venetian Hotel, it actually took me a few minutes to find the convention area. There didn't appear to be any signage out front. Note - Come in the main entrance, go to the casino, and follow the signs to the Sands convention center. Once you get into the convention area, you'll see the door to the registration desk on the right. Registration itself was fast and easy, and the folks behind the counter can answer all your registration questions.

Swag is a bit better than last year. A snazzy backpack with the requisite documentation, notepad, and waterbottle are given. Also, rather sharp MMS 2012 shirt is handed out. I think I might wear mine tomorrow! And of course the badge. The "badge packets" from last year are gone, replaced by an RFID enabled plastic card about twice the size of a credit card. I think the noobs have green stripes, Alumni like myself are blue, and I vendors/sponsors are orange. I'll verify this tomorrow, and update this if needed.

The member services area is expansive, with plenty of seating to relax, chat with your peers, and check your emails. A small area near the door allows you to check up on your MMS related needs and schedules.

The hands-on labs take up the largest portion of the area. Missed a lab? No problem! Just sign up for a self-paced version of the lab, and this is where you go to do it. The server farm is against the far wall, and is an interesting "DC-in-an-aquarium" type of setup.

Here's my plan for the remainder of the day:

SV-B317 - Top 10 Things Every Systems Admin Needs to Know about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Description: Windows Server 2008 R2 is an awesome operating system, and the real benefits are for the IT administrator. Do you know how Dynamic Memory works and how to use it? You will! How are your Hyper-V skills? We'll make them better! Ever used the graphical interface from PowerShell? We'll show you how! What happened to Terminal services? We'll show you! If you're an IT administrator you don't want to miss this session.

I would really have liked to attend this one. However, thanks to Alaska Airlines, the hour of padding that I built into my schedule was destroyed by the hour-plus wait on the tarmac to leave Seattle. Apparently, the copilot couldn't get comfortable in his chair, so we had to wait for a mechanic to come fix it. Thanks, Alaska Airlines.

SV-B306 - Using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter to Migrate to Hyper-V

Description: Take a deep dive into Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter, the free solution being offered by Microsoft that enables conversion of VMWare disks and machines to Hyper-V disks and machines. This session covers the range of capabilities and scenarios including single, stand-alone conversions, unattended bulk conversions and Microsoft System Center integration. This is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to explore or demonstrate migration from VMWare to Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Daniel Moore made this excellent presentation around the MSVMC, a Microsoft Solution Accelator utility for converting virtual machines and VMDK files. Where would you use this tool? How about migrating your VMs from VMWare to HyperV?

Currently, the tool is still beta. However, Daniel was able to give us a few demonstrations of the tool, both in wizard mode (converting an existing VM, or V2V), as well as converting a VMDK file to VHD utilizing the command line interface (CLI). The wizard actually follows the GUI guidelines for a HyperV interface, so any HyperV admin should have no problem understanding it. The CLI was equally straightforward.

Naturally, the CLI supports automation, and I think this mode will be the focus of interest for most administrators. Obviously, you can use the tool straight away in batch files and the like, but PowerShell and Orchestrator are also supported for automation of tasks and runbooks.

Currently, the tool supports VMware vSphere 4.1 and 5.0, but not earlier versions. Further, the target host OS must be Windows 2008 R2 SP1 or greater.

To get access to the beta bits, which have been available since 4/13/2012, go to the follow URL:

One thing to note - hot conversions with the beta version of the tool are not supported. You can do cold and warm conversions all day long, though.

Also, you can queue up a number of conversions in the GUI, but they will be executed in a serial fashion. You might get cute and fire up another instance, though, thinking that you will get twice the conversions done in the same time. Don't do it! Since the conversion process currently utilizes network bandwidth, all you will be doing is cutting in half the amount of network bandwidth available to each conversion process.

That's it for today, I'm off to find some chow, and hit the hay! More to come tomorrow, on day 2!

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