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Viewing Fabric Dependencies with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

If you haven't been following Microsoft's news, messaging and strategies of late, you really should, if only to be aware of the announcements with Hyper-V and the upcoming Windows Server 2012 release. System Center Virtual Machine Manger 2012 (SCVMM) recently went generally available and brings a lot of management options for Hyper-V hosts.

One area that caught my interest with SCVMM was the Fabric Resources section. Storage and network fabric management are one of the most challenging administrative aspects of virtualization. It's even worse for someone like me, who is historically used to other virtualization technologies. Learning this on Hyper-V and SCVMM platforms can be challenging.

The Fabric Resources section of SCVMM is on the toolbar as a primary section that has all hosts fabric elements inventoried. The dependencies view will quickly show aggregated information so that any configuration elements that are different from the hosts can be seen quickly. The figure below shows the fabric dependencies in an SCVMM console:

[Click on image for larger view.]
The SCVMM console allows administrators to quickly see storage and networking configuration for all hosts.

I like this dependency view as it is a way to check how each host is configured for any inconsistency. I have used names for networks that are formatted like XYZ-XYZ-XYZ, where there are three text-based descriptors (not necessarily three characters long) for each network. I could just name them all "XYZ," where XYZ would just be the VLAN that each network resides. But you see the issue. There are a number of different ways that you can name a virtual network in Hyper-V and other virtualization platforms, but being able to see them all and possibly how any may be configured differently is made easy here in the dependency view.

I find value in tools that can show aggregated configuration like this so minor issues are identified and corrected. Do you find value in tools that can help ensure consistency in configuration? Share your comments below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 07/11/2012 at 12:48 PM


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