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Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Backup Rises to the challenges
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 19, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

Introduction

In Windows Sever 2016 Microsoft improved Hyper-V backup to address many of the concerns mentioned in our previous Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address:

  • They avoid the need for agents by making the API’s remotely accessible. It’s all WMI calls directly to Hyper-V.
  • They implemented their own CBT mechanism for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to reduce the amount of data that needs to be copied during every backup. This can be leveraged by any backup vendor and takes away the responsibility of creating CBT from the backup vendors. This makes it easier for them to support Hyper-V releases faster. This also avoids the need for inserting drivers into the IO path of the Hyper-V hosts. Sure the testing & certification still has to happen as all vendors now can be impacted by a bug MSFT introduced.
  • They are no longer dependent on the host VSS infrastructure. This eliminates storage overhead as wells as the storage fabric IO overhead associated with performance issues when needing to use host level VSS snapshots on the entire LUN/CSV for even a single VM.
  • This helps avoid the need for hardware VSS providers delivered by storage vendors and delivers better results with storage solution that don’t offer hardware providers.
  • Storage vendors and backup vendors can still integrate this with their snapshots for speedy and easy backup and restores. But as the backup work at the VM level is separated from an (optional) host VSS snapshot the performance hit is less and the total duration significantly reduced.
  • It’s efficient in regard to the number of data that needs to be copied to the backup target and stored there. This reduces capacity needed and for some vendors the almost hard dependency on deduplication to make it even feasible in regards to cost.
  • These capabilities are available to anyone (backup vendors, storage vendors, home grown PowerShell scripts …) who wishes to leverage them and doesn’t prevent them from implementing synthetic full backups, merge backups as they age etc. It’s capable enough to allow great backup solutions to be built on top of it.

Let’s dive in together and take a closer look.

Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V backup
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Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 12, 2016
4.75/5 (4)

Introduction

Personally I have been very successful at providing good backup designs for Hyper-V in both small to larger environments using budgets that range in between “make due” to “well-funded”.  How does one achieve this? Two factors. The first factor is knowing the strengths and limitations of the various Hyper-V versions when you design the backup solution. Bar the ever better scalability, performance and capabilities with each new version of Hyper-V, the improvements in back up from 2012 to 2012 R2 for example were a prime motivator to upgrade. The second factor of success is due to the fact that I demand a mandate and control over the infrastructure stack to do so. In many case you are not that lucky and can’t change much in already existing environments. Sometimes not even in new environments when the gear, solutions have already been chosen, purchased and the design is deployed before you get involved.

Windows Server 2008 (R2) - 2012 Hyper-V Backup
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Ubuntu: Manage your SQL Server from Linux
Posted by Florent Appointaire on August 15, 2016
5/5 (2)

ubuntu

We will see how to install and use tools to manage your SQL Servers. We will use the version 13, who is compatible with Ubuntu. You can use these drivers from SQL Server 2008 to 2016, and it’s compatible with Azure SQL Database too.

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Shared virtual hard disks in Hyper-V 2016
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 9, 2016
4.67/5 (3)

Datacenter

A new feature called VHD Set for Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016 has been introduced by Microsoft. It allows sharing virtual hard disks between several servers in order to implement guest cluster easily without using complex technologies such as NPIV, virtual HBA, or virtual SAN.

As VHD Set, Shared VHDX enables sharing a virtual hard disk between multiple virtual machines. This feature is useful for implementing a guest cluster where shared disks are required (e.g., SQL Server AlwaysOn/FCI or File Servers).

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Microsoft’s Server Management Tools Now Supports Windows Server 2012
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 3, 2016
3/5 (1)

New Server Management Tools (SMT) suite now on supports Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, as it has been recently announced by Microsoft.

SMT includes a collection of well-known tools, such as Task Manager, Registry Editor, Event Viewer, Device Manager and Control Panel. Windows Update has been also added to that list few months ago. The difference is that now these tools actually are services housed in Microsoft’s Azure datacenters. Organizations must set up an on-premises gateway (which is called “server management gateway” by Microsoft) in order to use them.

“All SMT tools, except Windows Update and Device Manager, will now work with Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2012,”- Microsoft.

Tools

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Deploy an Azure VM from a generalized image in Azure RM portal
Posted by Romain Serre on August 2, 2016
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Microsoft Azure provides a way to deploy Azure VM from the Marketplace or from a generalized image. When you deploy the Azure VM from the Marketplace, no customization is deployed. You have to configure the operating system as your master. When you have several Azure VMs to deploy, the customization of each system can be time consuming. A lot of companies have a master or a baseline image in a VMDK for VMWare, in a VHD(X) for Hyper-V or in a WIM image. In this topic we will see how to create a generalized image from a single Azure VM and how to deploy Azure VM from this generalized image.

In the old portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com), all steps can be done from the GUI but also by using PowerShell. In the new portal (https://portal.azure.com), you have to use PowerShell because it is not yet integrated to the portal. In this topic, I will work from the new portal (AzureRM).

Resource group

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VMware’s EVO:RAIL fail as a lesson for Microsoft’s Azure Stack
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on July 21, 2016
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As we know, VMware‘s first attempt in the field of hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL, was a good quality software product set, which nevertheless failed because of the licensing policy. Specifically, it demanded that buyers acquire new vSphere licences, with no exception for existing vSphere users who liked the idea of adopting hyperconverged infrastructure.

Azure

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Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft describes the future of Server 2016
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on July 18, 2016
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Microsoft published details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, which includes a “Windows as a service” model of frequent operating system updates.

Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the Ignite conference (September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia); there will be three editions: Datacenter, Standard and Essentials.

windowsserver 2016

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How To Install Microsoft MultiPoint Service On Windows Server 2016
Posted by Vladan Seget on June 22, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server function is a function which allows you to use a shared resource technology from Microsoft to share compute. Share desktop. This is very convenient for example in environments like educational or training environments which can benefit from a single server in order to use a remote desktop experience.

Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server

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BadTunnel Bug, which Hijacks Network Traffic and Affects All Windows Versions, has been patched by Microsoft
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on June 21, 2016
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The works of Yang Yu, founder of Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab, have helped Microsoft to patch a significant security issue in its implementation of the NetBIOS protocol that affected all Windows existing versions.

It was found out that the attacker can exploit this vulnerability to pass as a WPAD or ISATAP server and redirect all the victim’s network traffic through a point controlled by the attacker. Network traffic here means not just Web HTTP and HTTPS, but also OS updates, software upgrades, Certificate Revocation List updates via Microsoft’s Crypto API, and other OS maintenance operations.microsoft

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