Microsoft was busy yesterday and released a bunch of downloads that you might be interested in.
Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3
One of the challenges of trying out things like Hyper-V and clustering in a lab is the storage. SANs are expensive. There are solutions like Windows Storage Server (sold as OEM on storage appliances) and StarWind (a economic and highly regarded iSCSI target to install on Windows Server).
Now, if you want a simple iSCSI target that you can download and install, you can do it. Jose Bareto blogged about (with instructions) the Microsoft iSCSI 3.3 target being available to the general public. This was previously only available as a part of Storage Server. Now you can download it and install it on a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine to create a simple iSCSI storage solution. So if you want a quick and cheap “SAN” to try out clustering … you got it!
This isn’t limited to the lab either. The iSCSI target is supported in production usage. So if you need a cheap shared storage solution for a cluster, this is one way you can go. Sure, it won’t match a SAN appliance for functionality or performance, and the likes of StarWind and Datacore offer other features, but this opens up some opportunities at the lower end of the market.
SCVMM 2012 MpsRpt Beta Tool
A lot of people are trying out the beta for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. I keep telling people that the virtualisation folks in Microsoft are serious about gathering and acting on feedback. This is evidence of that. This tool will enable support for collecting trace logs in SCVMM 2012 Beta. Documentation is available here.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, 2008 R2, and 2008 R2 SP1 Configuration Analyzer
This tool has been updated to add support for SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1.
“The VMMCA is a diagnostic tool you can use to evaluate important configuration settings for computers that either are serving or might serve VMM roles or other VMM functions. The VMMCA scans the hardware and software configurations of the computers you specify, evaluates them against a set of predefined rules, and then provides you with error messages and warnings for any configurations that are not optimal for the VMM role or other VMM function that you have specified for the computer.
Note: The VMMCA does not duplicate or replace the prerequisite checks performed during the setup of VMM 2008, VMM 2008 R2, or 2008 R2 SP1 components.”