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How to Set Up Hyper-V VM Groups with PowerShell

The other day I was poking around the Hyper-V PowerShell module and I came across a few commands that I must have initially ignored. I had no idea this feature existed until I came across the cmdlets. I can’t find anything in the Hyper-V Manager console that exposes this feature as well so if you want to take advantage of it, PowerShell is the way to go. It turns out that you can organize your virtual machines into groups with these commands.

VM Group cmdlets in PowerShell

NOTE: You should take the time to read through full help and examples before using any of these commands.

Creating a VM Group

The commands for working with VM Groups support remote connections and credentials. The default is the local host and take note that you can only specify credentials for remote connections. Creating a new group is a pretty simple matter. All you need is a group name and type.  You can create a group that is a collection of virtual machines (VMCollectionType) or a group that is a collection of other groups (ManagementCollection). I’m going to create a group for virtual machines.

Creating a new VM group

I’ve created the group and can retrieve it with Get-VMGroup.

Retrieving a VM Group with PowerShell

You can only create one group at a time, but you can create the same group on multiple servers.

This command created the management group Master on both Hyper-V hosts.

Adding a Group Member

Adding members to a group requires a separate step but isn’t especially difficult. To add members to a VMCollectionType group, you need references to the virtual machine object.

The command won’t write anything to the pipeline unless you use -Passthru. You can take advantage of nested expressions and create a group with members all in one line.

With this one-line command, I created another group call Win and added a few virtual machines to the group.

Creating a VM Group and Members in a PowerShell one-liner

Since I have two groups, let me add them to the management group.

Adding VM Management Groups with PowerShell

And yes, you can put a virtual machine in more than one group.

Retrieving Groups and Group Members

Using Get-VMGroup is pretty straightforward. Although once you understand the object output you can customize it.

Enumerating VM Groups

Depending on the group type you will have a nested collection of objects. You can easily enumerate them using dotted object notation.

Listing VM Group virtual machines

You can do something similar with management groups.

Expanding VM management groups with PowerShell

Be aware that it is possible to have nested management groups which might make unrolling things to get to the underlying virtual machines a bit tricky. I would suggest restraint until you fully understand how VM groups work and how you intend to take advantage of them.

The output of the VMMembers property is the same virtual machine object you would get using Get-VM so you can pipe this to other commands.

Incorporating VM Groups into a PowerShell expression

Group membership can also be discovered from the virtual machine.

Listing groups from the virtual machine

You cannot manage group membership from the virtual machine itself.

To remove groups and members, the corresponding cmdlets should be self-evident and follow the same patterns I demonstrated for creating VM groups and adding members.

Potential Obstacles

When you assign a virtual machine to a group, the membership is linked to the virtual machine. This may pose a challenge down the road. I haven’t setup replication with a virtual machine that belongs to a group so I’m not sure what the effect if any, might be. But I do know that if you export a virtual machine that belongs to a group and import the virtual machine on a different Hyper-V host, you’ll encounter an error about the missing group. You can remove the group membership on import so it isn’t that much of a showstopper. Still, you might want to remove the virtual machine from any groups prior to exporting.

Doing More

The VM group cmdlets are very useful, but not useful enough. At least for me. I have a set of expectations for using these groups and the cmdlets as written don’t meet those expectations. Fortunately, I can write a few PowerShell functions to get the job done. Next time, I’ll share the tools I’m building around these commands.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll share how you think you’ll take advantage of this feature!

Want to boost your Hyper-V performance? Discover 6 Hardware Tweaks that will Skyrocket your Hyper-V Performance

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Author: Jeffery Hicks

For Sale – Watercooled i7-4790K build

I’m moving house and need funds for other priorities. I have all my AV gear for sale on here too.

Built with my own hands.

All components were bought from either CCL Computers or Scan.

Asus Z97-P
Intel i7-4790K (delidded running without HS with CPU Delid Die Guard for LGA115X)
G.Skill TridentX 16GB (2x8GB) 2400MHz DDR3 RAM
Sapphire Radeon R9 380 NITRO 4GB
Samsung EVO 850 120GB Solid State Drive
EVGA 750W G2
Core P5 Thermaltake Tempered Glass Open Frame Glass PC Gaming Case
Thermaltake TT Gaming Riser Cable 200mm PCI-E 3.0 X16
EK DuraClear 3M Clear Water Cooling Tubing 9.5mm/15.9mm
EK-Supremacy MX CPU block
EK 140 Revo D5 PWM Pump
EK-RES X3 250 Reservoir
Thermaltake Pacific CL420 Copper Water Cooling Radiator
EK 120mm Vardar F3-120 Fan x 3
EK-XTOP Revo D5 Plexi Pump Top
Gelid Solutions 1-to-4 PWM Fan Splitter

I have boxes for Motherboard, CPU, RAM, GPU, PSU (including all unused cables), Radiator, Pump, Fans, CPU block, Reservoir, SSD. This was a project I built over time so components are varying in age – this was mostly used as a Emby server for my NAS. Completely overspecced for what I used it for but I like quality components and something that looks nice.

All works beautifully. I will need to format the SSD and you will need to install O/S.

Price and currency: 525
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: BT, PPG
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI going hard after Salesforce

Microsoft and Salesforce are attacking each other again. Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI tools are coming that will beef up sales, marketing and — most of all — service and support, unveiled the day after Salesforce announced Quip Slides, a PowerPoint competitor.

Salesforce appears to be annexing Microsoft’s business-productivity territory, while Microsoft is rolling its forces deeper into Salesforce’s CRM domain by more tightly connecting Teams collaboration with its CRM suite, freshened up with new AI capabilities.

“You’ve got Salesforce announcing Quip Slides, and you’ve got Microsoft doing a whole bunch of integration between Teams and Dynamics … who’s going after whose market?” said Alan Lepofsky, analyst at Constellation Research.

In a media briefing ahead of its Ignite user conference, the tech giant took some direct shots at rival Salesforce in introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI tools that buttress CRM processes. Of particular note was Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service, which adds out-of-the-box virtual agents.

Assistive AI for contact centers

Who’s going after whose market?
Alan Lepofskyanalyst, Constellation Research

Virtual agents can take several forms, two of which include chatbots that do the talking on behalf of humans, or assistive bots that prompt humans with suggested answers for engaging live with customers either on voice or text channels.

New Microsoft bots, built on Azure Cognitive Services, won’t require the code-intensive development or consultant services that other vendors’ CRM tools do, claimed Alysa Taylor, Microsoft corporate vice president of business applications and global industry. She singled out Salesforce as a CRM competitor in her comments.

“Many vendors offer [virtual agents] in a way that is very cumbersome for organizations to adopt,” Taylor said. “It requires a large services engagement; Salesforce partners with IBM Watson to be able to deliver this.”

Either way, the bots will require training. Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI-powered bots can be trained by call center managers, asserted Navrina Singh, Microsoft AI principal product lead, during a demo.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s taking on Salesforce with new CRM AI tools

The bots can tap into phone log transcriptions, email and other contact center data stores to shape answers to customer problems and take some of the workload off of overburdened contact center agents, Singh said.

The virtual agent introductions were significant enough that Microsoft brought out CEO Satya Nadella for a cameo with Singh during the briefing.

“The thing that’s most exciting to me,” Nadella said, “… is that [Microsoft] can make every company out there an AI-first company. They already have customers, they already have data. If you can democratize the use of AI tools, every company can harness the power of AI.”

Other Dynamics 365 AI tools for CRM

Sales and marketing staffs get their own Dynamics 365 AI infusion, too.

Microsoft brings Dynamics 365 AI for Sales in line with Salesforce Einstein tools that use AI to prioritize lead pipelines and sales-team performance management.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights plumbs marketing, social media and other customer engagement data to improve customer relations and “engage in relevant conversations and respond faster to trends,” Taylor wrote in a blog post announcing the new system.

While the Microsoft moves appear effective, industry observers questioned whether they can Microsoft make an impression in Salesforce’s massive market footprint, even if they are easier to use, more economical and more intuitive than Salesforce’s.

Lepofsky said he isn’t sure, because of the sheer numbers. The 150,000-strong Dreamforce user conference is at the same time as Ignite, and the latter will likely draw only about a sixth of the Dreamforce crowd. And Salesforce likely won’t be resting on its AI credentials either.

“I think you can speculate that Salesforce will also be talking about AI improvements at Dreamforce, so perhaps it’s not that differentiating for Dynamics,” Lepofsky said.

While Microsoft announced no release date for its AI tools, a preview site will go online this fall, Singh said.

For Sale – Asrock Deskmini Mini PC, G4600, 2x4gb Ram, 120gb SSD

Decided to sell HTPC as want to go other routes. Mint condtion, boxes, warranty.

This little PC is very powerful and can be easily used as main PC, obviously perfect for HTPC. All drivers/updates/bios are installed.
In case you don’t know, g4600 is basically 99% of i3 7100.
There is 2 x 2.5″ hdd/ssd slot and 1 x m.2 2280 but it has to be pci-e.

Asrock Deskmini
G4600 with intel stock cooler
2x4gb 2133Mhz Samsung DDR4
120gb Kingston A400 SSD
Intel AC WIFI card with antennas
Windows 10 Pro

Price and currency: 210
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included within my country
Payment method: BT/PPG/Cash on collection
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Asrock Deskmini, G4600, 2x4gb Ram, 120gb SSD

Decided to sell HTPC as want to go other routes. Mint condtion, boxes, warranty.

This little PC is very powerful and can be easily used as main PC, obviously perfect for HTPC. All drivers/updates/bios are installed.
In case you don’t know, g4600 is basically 99% of i3 7100.
There is 2 x 2.5″ hdd/ssd slot and 1 x m.2 2280 but it has to be pci-e.

Asrock Deskmini
G4600 with intel stock cooler
2x4gb 2133Mhz Samsung DDR4
120gb Kingston A400 SSD
Intel AC WIFI card with antennas
Windows 10 Pro

Price and currency: 200
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included within my country
Payment method: BT/PPG/Cash on collection
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Mitel targets enterprises with MiCloud Engage contact center

Mitel has released a contact-center-as-a-service platform that — unlike its other contact center offerings — is detached from its unified communication products. The over-the-top product should appeal to large organizations, which are more likely to buy their contact center and Unified Communications apps separately. 

MiCloud Engage Contact Center, which runs in the multi-tenant public cloud of Amazon Web Services, supports voice, web chat, SMS and email channels, and integrates with Facebook Messenger and customer relationship management (CRM) software.

The MiCloud Engage platform plugs two gaps in the vendor’s cloud contact center portfolio. It scales to over 5,000 agents, significantly more than the 1,000-agent capacity of its flagship cloud platform, MiCloud Flex.

Furthermore, Mitel has traditionally bundled its UC and contact center products, a combination that appeals to the vendor’s historical customer base of small and midsize businesses. MiCloud Engage, in contrast, is available as a stand-alone offering.

Mitel hopes the new platform will help it gain a foothold among enterprises, which are more often customers of Avaya, Cisco or Genesys. It could also appeal to individual divisions or lines of business within a large organization.

Mitel continues cloud pivot ahead of acquisition

The release of MiCloud Engage comes months shy of the publicly traded company’s planned acquisition by the private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners L.P. The $2 billion deal, announced in April, is expected to close by the year’s end.

Going private should help Mitel grow its cloud business because it will be able to focus on long-term growth rather than quarterly earnings. Following a series of recent acquisitions, the company also benefits from a relatively large install base and a broad mix of cloud UC offerings.

Mitel’s 2017 acquisition of ShoreTel made it one of the top UC-as-a-service vendors worldwide, along with 8×8 and RingCentral. Still, only 6% of Mitel’s 70 million UC seats were in the cloud at the outset of 2018: 1.1 million in the public cloud and another 3 million hosted in Mitel’s data centers.

Ultimately, MiCloud Engage could serve as a conduit to more enterprises buying Mitel’s UC products, the core of its business. Gartner ranks Mitel among the top four UC vendors, alongside Microsoft, Cisco and Avaya.

“If you can’t win the UC business, then winning the contact center business and creating a backdoor that way is a good strategy,” said Zeus Kerravala, the founder and principal analyst at ZK Research in Westminster, Mass. “Getting your foot in the door is the important piece, and that’s what they’re trying to do with [MiCloud Engage].”

For Sale – VisionTek AMD HD 7750 3M – Triple 4k UHD Low profile GPU

Here we have a special graphics card not like any other 7750.

it’s Low profile and fits in any case, I had or in supermicro mini itx server case with

it support 3 X 4K display and in eyefinity.

VisionTek AMD HD 7750 3M – Triple 4k UHD Low profile.

Radeon 7750 SFF 2GB DDR3 3M (2x HDMI, miniDP)

Price and currency: 80
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BACS or Cash on Collection
Location: North Finchley (London)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – VisionTek AMD HD 7750 3M – Triple 4k UHD Low profile GPU

Here we have a special graphics card not like any other 7750.

it’s Low profile and fits in any case, I had or in supermicro mini itx server case with

it support 3 X 4K display and in eyefinity.

VisionTek AMD HD 7750 3M – Triple 4k UHD Low profile.

Radeon 7750 SFF 2GB DDR3 3M (2x HDMI, miniDP)

Price and currency: 80
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BACS or Cash on Collection
Location: North Finchley (London)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Gartner Catalyst 2018: A future without data centers?

SAN DIEGO — Can other organizations do what Netflix has done — run a business without a data center? That’s the question that was posed by Gartner Inc. research vice president Douglas Toombs at the Gartner Catalyst 2018 conference.

While most organizations won’t run 100% of their IT in the cloud, the reality is that many workloads can be moved, Toombs told the audience.

“Your future IT is actually going to be spread across a number of different execution venues, and at each one of these venues you’re trading off control and choice, but you get the benefits of not having to deal with the lower layers,” he said.

Figure out the why, how much and when

When deciding why they are moving to the cloud, the “CEO drive-by strategy” — where the CEO swings in and says, “We need to move a bunch of stuff in the cloud, go make it happen,” — shouldn’t be the starting point, Toombs said.

“In terms of setting out your overall organizational priorities, what we want to do is get away from having just that as the basis and we want to try to think of … the real reasons why,” Toombs said.

Increasing business agility and accessing new technologies should be some of the top reasons why businesses would want to move their applications to the cloud, Toombs said. Once they have a sense of “why,” the next thing is figuring out “how much” of their applications will make the move. For most mainstream enterprises, the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 40% and 80% of their overall applications, he said.

Businesses then need to figure out the timeframe to make this happen. Those trying to move 50% or 60% of their apps usually give themselves about three years to try and accomplish that goal, he said. If they’re more aggressive — with a target of 80% — they will need a five-year horizon, he said.

Whatever metric you pick, you want to track this very publicly over time within your organization.
Douglas Toombsresearch vice president, Gartner

“We need to get everyone in the organization with a really important job title — could be the top-level titles like CIO, CFO, COO — also in agreement and nodding along with us, and what we suggest for this is actually codifying this into a cloud strategy document,” Toombs told the audience at Gartner Catalyst 2018.

Dissecting application risk

Once organizations have outlined their general strategy, Toombs suggested they incorporate the CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability for risk analysis purposes.

These three core pillars are essential to consider when moving an app to the cloud so the organization can determine potential risk factors.

“You can take these principles and start to think of them in terms of impact levels for an application,” he said. “As we look at an app and consider a potential new execution venue for it, how do we feel about the risk for confidentiality, integrity and availability — is this kind of low, or no risk, or is it really severe?”

Assessing probable execution venues

Organizations need to think very carefully about where their applications go if they exit their data centers, Toombs said. He suggested they assess their applications one-by-one, moving them off into other execution venues when they’re capable and are not going to increase overall risk

“We actually recommend starting with the app tier where you would have to give up the most control and look in the SaaS market,” he said. They can then look at PaaS, and if they have exhausted the PaaS options in the market, they can start to look at IaaS, he said.

However, if they have found an app that probably shouldn’t go to a cloud service but they still want to get to no data centers, organizations could talk to hosting providers that are out there — they’re happy to sell them hardware on a three-year contract and charge monthly for it — or go to a colocation provider. Even if they have put 30% of their apps in a colocation environment, they are not running data center space anymore, he said.

But if for some reason they have found an app that can’t be moved to any one of these execution venues, then they have absolutely justified and documented an app that now needs to stay on premises, he said. “It’s actually very freeing to have a no-go pile and say, ‘You know what, we just don’t think this can go or we just don’t think this is the right time for it, we will come back in three years and look at it again.'”

Kilowatts as a progress metric

While some organizations say they are going to move a certain percentage of their apps to the cloud, others measure in terms of number of racks or number of data centers or square feet of data center, he said.

Toombs suggested using kilowatts of data center processing power as a progress metric. “It is a really interesting metric because it abstracts away the complexities in the technology,” he said.

It also:

  • accounts for other overhead factors such as cooling;
  • easily shows progress with first migration;
  • should be auditable against a utility bill; and
  • works well with kilowatt-denominated colocation contracts.

“But whatever metric you pick, you want to track this very publicly over time within your organization,” he reminded the audience at the Gartner Catalyst 2018 conference. “It is going to give you a bit of a morale boost to go through your 5%, 10%, 15%, and say ‘Hey, we’re getting down the road here.'”