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Windows Server 2016 Core configuration. Part 1: step-by-step installation
Posted by Alex Khorolets on July 14, 2017
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This series of articles will guide you through the basic deployment of Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Core version, covering all the steps from an initial installation to the deployment of Hyper-V role and Failover Cluster configuration.

The first and the main thing you need to double-check before installing the Windows Server 2016 Core is whether your hardware meets the system requirements of WS 2016. This also is very important in the process of planning your environment, in order to be sure that you have enough amount of compute resources for running your production workload.

Windows Server installation

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Design a ROBO infrastructure. Part 4: HCI solutions
Posted by Andrea Mauro on June 7, 2017
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2-nodes hyperconverged solution

As written in the previous post, for ROBO scenario the most interesting HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure) configuration is a two nodes configuration, considering that two nodes could be enough to run dozen VMs (or also more).

For this reason, not all hyperconverged solutions could be suitable for this case (for example Nutanix or Simplivity need at least 3 nodes). And is not simple scale down an enterprise solution to a small size, due to the architecture constraints.

Actually, there are some interesting products specific for HCI in ROBO scenario:

  • VMware Virtual SAN in a 2 nodes clusters
  • StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance
  • StorMagic SvSAN

StarWind Virtual SAN overall architecture

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Windows Server 2016: NIC Teaming functionality
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on May 30, 2017
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NIC teaming is not something we got with Windows Server 2016 but I just find it interesting to review this functionality as we have it in the current iteration of Windows Server, as usual, touching a bit on basics and history of this feature.

NIC teaming feature reached its maturity in Server 2012 R2 and there are (almost) no major changes in this department in Server 2016, yet if you just starting out with a practical use of NIC teaming on prepping for any related Microsoft exam you may find it useful to review this feature thoroughly.

Windows Server NIC Teaming key facts

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StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance Linux edition
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on May 5, 2017
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Introduction

This article describes the new StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance, which was released on 26th of April. StarWind has always been a Windows native solution. However, due to market trends and the huge interest of our customers, we have decided to work in Linux direction. The main goal of the article is to show what StarWind VSA can do for clients and how you can work with it.

StarWind Linux-based VSA

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Design a ROBO infrastructure (Part 3): Infrastructure at remote office side
Posted by Andrea Mauro on March 30, 2017
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Design a ROBO scenario must match finally the reality of the customers’ needs, its constraints but also the type of workload and the possible availability solutions of them.

Logical design of a ROBO scenario

When can found the different type of approaches:

  • No server(s) at
  • Few servers (that maybe can fail)
  • Some servers with “relaxed” availability requirements
  • Some servers with reasonable availability

Let’s analyze each of them.

Design a ROBO scenario must match finally the reality of the customers’ needs, its constraints but also the type of workload and the possible availability solutions of them.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure structure

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Hyper-V Networking 101. Part 1: NICs and Switches
Posted by Thorsten Windrath on March 22, 2017
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Network cables

Source: pixabay.com

Introduction

There are lots of posts regarding Hyper-V networking. But there doesn’t seem to be a single compiled and up to date guide covering fundamentals and some advanced topics alike. This article aims to fill that gap, without a wall of text but a few easy to understand diagrams, tables, and PowerShell snippets. We will take a look at Hyper-V’s basic networking concept, NIC teaming (Network Interface Card) and different approaches to let VMs (Virtual Machines) talk to specific VLANs or even VLAN trunks.

The first article in the Hyper-V Networking 101 series will cover everything you need to know about virtual switches and NICs. The last post is planned as a real-world example: A way to implement a secure Wi-Fi (and/or wired) guest network on top of a virtual firewall.

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Installing System Center Configuration Manager 1610 (Current Branch) on Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016. PART1
Posted by Nicolas Prigent on March 14, 2017
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Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

On November 17th  2016, Microsoft SCCM Team has released version 1610 for the Current Branch (CB) of System Center Configuration Manager that includes some great new features and product enhancements.

SCCM 1610 includes lots of new features and enhancements in Windows 10 and Office 365 management, application management, end user experience, client management and also includes new functionality in hybrid mode with Microsoft Intune.

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Specialize Windows Server Hyper-V guest OS automatically
Posted by Romain Serre on February 6, 2017
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Last year I have written a topic on Starwind to create VMs from PowerShell. That enables to automate the creation process without using a GUI, either from Virtual Machine Manager or Hyper-V Manager. But a VM deployment is not finished when the VM is created but when the application is deployed. Before deploying the application, the OS must also be installed and specialized. This topic shows you the method I use to deploy and specialize a VM without a single click.

Specialize OS from unattended file

If you read this documentation (Implicit Answer File Search Order section), you can see that we can specialize the OS from unattended file. This unattended.xml file will be placed in C:\Windows\Panther\Unattend. To prepare the unattended file, I use ADK (Assessment Deployment Kit). When you install the ADK, select Deployment Tools. Then you can open Windows System Image Manager.

Windows System Image Manager

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Windows Server 2016 Nano Server – Just enough OS model
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on January 13, 2017
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Nano Server image

We are in 2017 now, and it’s about fourth month since Windows Server 2016 has been RTMed in September 2016. By now, everyone probably heard about one of the big new features of Windows Server 2016 – Nano Server, new installation option which you can’t select during setup 🙂 . But I think there is still a lot of “why” and “how” questions around Nano Server. In this blog post, I will try to provide a bit of a history and compare Nano Server with other installation types.

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Get started with Windows Containers
Posted by Romain Serre on January 10, 2017
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Windows Server 2016 has been released in October 2016 and comes with a new feature called Containers. Containers already exist in Linux world and enable to make OS virtualization. Basically, a container is an isolated place where an application can run without affecting the rest of the system and without the system affecting the application (MSDN definition).

Windows Containers and Hyper-V Containers

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