Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dn705350.aspx and https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46910
Going through the installation, I noticed that the CEIP program page is different (compared to the SCVMM 2012 R2 installation), and no longer provides the option to “opt in” or “opt out”.
When the installer runs the Prerequisites Check, it is nice to see that the Technical Preview 2 is referencing/leveraging the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10, and not Windows 8.1 (like the SCCM 2016 TP2 still is).
Note: The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 10 can be found here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=526740
In my specific case, the installation completed but with warnings about the Service Connection Point not being able to be registered in Active Directory. But, this could be due to my lab’s network configuration.
Let’s take a look at a few new features thus far.
VMs and Services Workspace
Within the VMs and Services workspace, we have the option to add an Azure Subscription.
Now, this is not technically a “new” feature, since with the release of Update Rollup 6 for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 this is now an option, but it’s nice to see it built-in.
However, you will notice a new button beside Add Subscription, labelled “Management Portal”.
When I clicked on this button, I encountered the following error. However, I think this is just a bug. Although my lab installation is on the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2, which uses the new Spartan/Edge browser, I was able to access the URL from the error message directly in the browser.
Within the Fabric workspace, specifically under Storage, there is a new item called QOS Policies.
Per the referenced TechNet article: “End-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) for storage: When hosts and storage are under heavy load, you might want to ensure that certain disks, virtual machines, applications, or tenants will not drop below a certain Quality of Service (QoS) for storage. VMM has been improved so it’s easier to specify QoS policies that fit your specific needs, regardless of the exact configuration of your storage.
For example, you could define a custom storage QoS policy such as an IOPS minimum guarantee, and then make that minimum available to each VHDX used by the virtual machines assigned to one tenant. The IOPS minimum guarantee would be applied to each VHDX individually. For another example, another tenant might not want to define minimums per VHDX, but instead want a guarantee of the total IOPS to be made available across all the VHDXs used by virtual machines of that tenant. You could configure a guaranteed total that would be maintained for that tenant, although the minimum IOPs available to an individual VHDX might vary over time. These are two examples among many for QoS for storage.”
When you create a QOS Policy, you can set the Policy Type, and also the MIN and MAX IOPS.
Within the Settings workspace, in the General area, we now have the added item for the Host Guardian Service.
In case you are not aware, this is a very interesting new technology that is a part of the new Windows Server 2016 build, that empowers even more security and protection. Here’s some additional information: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Shielded-VMs-and-Guarded-44176db3
Within the Host Guardian Service Settings, we can configure the Attestation Server and Key Protection Server information.
Well, that’s it for this first quick look at System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. I’m sure there are a bunch of “under the hood” stuff that I haven’t explored yet. But at least this gets your started.