Free Webinar
November 15 | 11am PT / 2pm ET
VMware & StarWind: Guarantee data safety and constant applications availability
Speaker: Alexey Khorolets, Pre-Sales Engineer, StarWind
Posted by Jon Toigo on January 25, 2016
Hyper-Converged Needs to Get Beyond the Hype

It used to be that, when you bought a server with a NIC card and some internal or direct attached storage, it was simply called a server. If it had some tiered storage – different media with different performance characteristics and different capacities – and some intelligence for moving data across “tiers,” we called it an “enterprise server”. If the server and storage kit were clustered, we called it a high availability enterprise server. Over the past year, though, we have gone through a collective terminology refresh.

Today, you cobble together a server with some software-defined storage software, a hypervisor, and some internal or external flash and/or disk and the result is called “hyper-converged infrastructure.” Given the lack of consistency in what people mean when they say “hyper-converged,” we may be talking about any collection of gear and software that a vendor has “pre-integrated” before marking up the kit and selling it for a huge profit. Having recently requested information from so-called hyper-converged infrastructure vendors, I was amazed at some of the inquiries I received from would-be participants.

HCI types

Learn More

Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Hyper-V: Free “Shared Nothing” SMB3 Failover File Server

A part of a series, the research is dedicated to the capability of free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 to assume a file server role and cluster the resulting file server. Our last experiment on this matter showed that it’s possible to create SMB3 File Server on the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 and now we’re about to go further and cluster it. The post shows a detailed instruction on the process and also the resulting setup. It appears to be fully working and usable, so the process may be called a success after all. Though it is absolutely real to do so, it is a violation of Microsoft’s license agreement, so StarWind urges everyone to refrain from repeating the experiment.

2 servers with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 added into domain and the client node with Windows Server 2012 R2

Learn More

Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Hyper-V: Free SMB3 File Server

The first experiment dedicated to building a file server on free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2. It is a part of a series of similar practical posts. The post offers a detailed instruction on how to assign file server role to the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2. However, this process is a violation of license agreement, so StarWind urges the readers not to repeat it. As to the reason the process is at all possible, the answer is quite simple: SMB3 is a crucial part of the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 and the latter won’t work if the protocol support is cut out. In any case, a fact that you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Violating Microsoft’s user license agreement is some serious business you don’t want to get involved in.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 as the file server and Windows Server 2012 R2 as the client

Learn More

Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Storage Spaces Direct: 4-node “Shared Nothing” Scale-Out File Server

This is a research dedicated to practical implementation of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct. It is a part of a series of posts about S2D and features a detailed comprehensive instruction on building a fault-tolerant 4-node setup. Storage Spaces Direct is the next step of Storage Spaces, meaning it is an extension of the current SDS for Windows Server. Storage Spaces Direct utilizes SMB3 for all intra-node interaction, including the latest SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel. The testing of S2D is hot right now, so StarWind is doing its part as well. This setup is meant to withstand node failures and the post reveals how exactly it performs in this respect.

SOFS + Storage Spased Direct

Learn More

Posted by Charbel Nemnom on January 19, 2016
How to Configure Storage Replication using Windows Server 2016? – Part 1

Warning: This article is written with information related to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

Storage Replica is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2016 that enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes ensuring zero data loss at the file system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss.

Volume (D:) Replica

Learn More

Posted by Florent Appointaire on January 12, 2016
HOW TO: Monitor a Nano Server on Windows Server TP4

nanoserver

Microsoft released the last version of the Nano Server, Technical Preview 4. They released the TP4 of System Center too. with this last version, SCOM has the ability to monitor a Nano Server.

In this blog post, I will explain to you how to implement this monitoring. I used this blog post to implement the solution.

Learn More

Posted by Vladan Seget on January 5, 2016
How To Convert EXE To MSI Package In 5 Easy Steps

MSI package are useful to be deployed in centralized management environment of Microsoft Active Directory. Unfortunately to deploy a software you need a MSI package. Microsoft do not support deploying EXE applications via GPOs.

So if your organization has some of those EXE applications and want do manage the deployment via Group policy, it’s necessary to repackage the EXE and create an MSI package.

MSI package

Learn More

Posted by Florent Appointaire on December 9, 2015
HOW TO: Change an Azure VM Subnet

In this article, I will explain to you how to change the subnet of a Virtual Machine in Azure. Following is the official documentation on the Microsoft Website this documentation.

To do this, you must use PowerShell (this is the only possibility to do this, maybe in next versions, it will be possible to do this with the GUI). As you can see, my VM has the IP address 10.0.0.4:

1

Learn More

Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on November 20, 2015
Storage Spaces Direct: Overview

This is a short summary on Storage Spaces Direct – the first true software-defined storage from Microsoft, its history and peculiarities. Software-defined storage is a concept, which involves storing data without dedicated hardware. This is an introduction to a series of posts dedicated to theoretical and practical research of S2D. The post is not a full description of the Storage Spaces Direct technology, more info is available on Microsoft resources. Our focus here is the actual problem that S2D solved for virtualization world, being truly independent from underlying hardware, as SDS should. Its predecessor, Clustered Storage Spaces, had a very serious hardware lock-in with its requirements for SAS fabrics, SAS switches and SAS JBODS. Thus, Storage Spaces Direct is an interesting technology to research.

JBOD-Scale-Out

Learn More

Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on October 26, 2015
Log-Structured File Systems: Overview

Log-Structured File System is obviously effective, but not for everyone. As the “benefits vs. drawbacks” list shows, Log-Structuring is oriented on virtualization workload with lots of random writes, where it performs like a marvel. It won’t work out as a common file system for everyday tasks. Check out this overview and see what LSFS is all about.

LSFS

Learn More