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Speaker: Ivan Talaichuk, Pre-Sales Engineer, StarWind
Posted by Boris Yurchenko on June 12, 2018
Basic Hyper-V virtual NIC management

Let’s be honest, any system administrator may face the need of hot-adding the network interfaces to the guest VMs in his Microsoft Hyper-V environment one day. And that’s no problem as Windows Server 2016 brought in a whole set of useful features, one of which is the ability to add and remove network adapters on the running VMs. Moreover, you can do that in two ways – GUI, if you’re looking for a straightforward process and PowerShell if you are a fan of automation.

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Posted by Dmytro Malynka on June 5, 2018
Forget about disasters sabotaging your IT environment thanks to stretched clustering

These days, businesses do not stick to one location anymore. Such trend pushes companies to build stretched clusters, IT infrastructures spanned across several locations. Such approach enables them to implement better disaster recovery strategies and achieve higher performance. To build such environments, you need fast connection and the solution to use resources of all your remote sites just as they were located in one place. Here, StarWind Virtual SAN comes into play – the solution for building high performing active-active replicated shared storage.

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Posted by Paulsen Muzari on March 14, 2018
Whip your Hyperconverged Failover Cluster into shape automatically and with no downtime using Microsoft’s Cluster Aware Updating

Some admins prefer the Cluster updates to be done automatically. To do so, Microsoft designed a feature to facilitate patching of Windows Servers from 2012 to 2016 that are configured in a failover cluster. Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) does this automatically, thereby avoiding service disruption for clustered roles. In this article, we are going to take a look into how we can achieve this assuming that Cluster is built with hyperconverged scenario and StarWind Virtual SAN used as a shared storage. Before going in the steps to set the CAU, we will investigate this scenario.

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Posted by Vitalii Feshchenko on February 1, 2018
The main features of 2016 Failover Cluster

In our support work very often we face different environments. They can range from three VMs to a hundred of those, with the number of nodes from two to ten. Today, I will tell you about the main features of Failover Cluster 2016, which are applicable to any environment.

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Posted by Boris Yurchenko on January 11, 2018
Cluster Rolling Upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016

During its lifetime, any system reaches a point when it needs to be upgraded, either in terms of hardware or software. Today, I will talk about such changes, in particular, about upgrading Windows Failover Cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 with no production interruption. Thanks to Microsoft, we do have a Cluster Rolling Upgrade procedure at our fingertips, and I am going to get through it and confirm it works for virtualized disks as cluster shared volumes in Windows Failover Cluster. This procedure assumes rebuilding nodes with clean OS deployment one by one, while the production keeps running from the other cluster node.

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Posted by Ivan Ischenko on January 4, 2018
Improve your Cluster Shared Volume security with Microsoft BitLocker

Nowadays, every company is doing its best to protect its data, which is pretty much its most valuable asset. As you know, data is vulnerable to unauthorized access and that’s when Microsoft BitLocker saves the day. BitLocker is the encryption technology from Microsoft, which makes possible to encrypt the Logical Volume on the transparent blade-based level (not physical disk). In this article, we will see how to encrypt Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) using Microsoft BitLocker to protect your data against unauthorized access.

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Posted by Ivan Talaichuk on December 6, 2017
High-performing and highly available Scale-Out File Server with SMB3

There’s, probably, no IT administrator who hasn’t heard of SMB3 (Server Message Block). is an application-layer network protocol, developed by Microsoft mostly to provide shared access to the files, and allowing communication between nodes. SMB has been designed as a tool for the creation of a DOS-based network file system, but Microsoft took the initiative and renamed SMB into CIFS later on (Common Internet File System) and continued further developing it. The second version – SMB 2.0, has been introduced in Windows Vista with a wide range of new features, thus it became clear that Microsoft was working hard to improve this protocol.

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Posted by Edwin M Sarmiento on November 23, 2017
Deploying SQL Server 2016 Basic Availability Groups Without Active Directory. Part 2: Configuring SQL Server

In the previous blog post, I’ve walked you thru the process of creating the Windows Server 2016 Failover Cluster  (WSFC) that is not joined to an Active Directory Domain. It is very important that you get the underlying WSFC properly configured and stabilized before you even attempt to create the SQL Server 2016 Always On Basic Availability Group. The availability and reliability of your SQL Server 2016 Always On Basic Availability Group depends so much on the WSFC.

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Posted by Edwin M Sarmiento on October 31, 2017
Deploying SQL Server 2016 Basic Availability Groups Without Active Directory. Part 1: Building the Platform

When Availability Groups were introduced in SQL Server 2012, they were only available in Enterprise Edition. This made it challenging to move from Database Mirroring to Availability Groups, especially if you’re running Standard Edition.  To upgrade and migrate from Database Mirroring in Standard Edition, you either choose to upgrade to a more expensive Enterprise Edition license and implement Availability Groups or stick with Database Mirroring and hope that everything works despite being deprecated.

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Posted by Ivan Ischenko on August 3, 2017
Free SMB3 Failover File Server on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016

In the previous article, we have created a free SMB3 file server. I decided to proceed with the testing of Microsoft Server Hyper-V 2016 free version possibilities. In this post, I will try to create Highly Available devices with StarWind Virtual SAN and then create a Microsoft Failover Cluster to make a Highly Available File Server. We are using 2 servers with Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 added into a domain (Hyper-V-1; Hyper-V-2). Client node with Windows Server 2016 (2016-client-test).

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