04 May 2012

Speed up Hyper-V P2V and deployment from template

One of the best parts of using System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is that it becomes very easy to move machines around.  You gain the ability to convert a physical server and then once you have it you can migrate it from host to host or store it in a library or turn it into a template.
The one key thing here is that the VM files are moved around from machine to machine. These files also tend to be pretty big. To ensure reliable and proper bandwidth usage without hogging the line VMM uses (BITS) Background Intelligent Transfer Service)

By default all BITS transfers are done over HTTPS.  This generally does not cause an issue, but if you are doing loads of migrations or importing older, slower physical servers you can speed thing up. BITS support transfer over both HTTPS and HTTP.  The latter having the advantage of not being encrypted.  This speeds up the transfers as the crypto overhead on both sides is not required.  The disadvantage is that your transfers are not longer encrypted.  This is mostly mitigated if you are using this in an enclosed network.

There are two places where you can set the HTTPS requirement.

Disable HTTPS for  HOST to HOST and P2V

  • From the VMM console select the relevant host group
  • Right Click - Properties
  • On the General tab you will see a check box for "Allow unencrypted file transfer"

This will now disable HTTPS when doin P2V or when migrating storage for a VM.  If you want the same for moving files to and from a library or you are deploying from the library you also need to chnage the following.

Disable HTTPS for library

  • Select the Library server
  • Right Click Properties
  • Check the box for "Allow unencrypted file transfer"

You would need to do this for every library server.

The result is now that when you deploy or move VMs around will be noticeably faster.

I only found this by seeking desperately to speed up virtualising older laptops.  Up to this point I had never had a need to improve this as it has always worked very well with the defaults.  Just nice to know there is something you can do about it.

Thanks to Jeff Wouters

I have also noticed that Antivirus - if configured incorrectly will impact the performance of the deploy, P2V and migration processes.

The basic exclusions should be:

  • Default virtual machine configuration directory (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V)
  • Custom virtual machine configuration directories
  • Default virtual hard disk drive directory (C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks)
  • Custom virtual hard disk drive directories
  • Snapshot directories
  • Vmms.exe 
  • Vmwp.exe 

And if you are Using CSV - Cluster Shared Volumes

But also check out


1 comment:

Jeff Wouters said...

Happy I was able to help and you found my post useful :-)

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