Migrate On-Premises VHD files to Azure
Posted by Nicolas Prigent on February 8, 2018
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Azure Virtual Machines

You may need to move a couple of Azure Virtual Machines from on-premises to your Azure subscription. Thanks to Windows PowerShell, uploading a VM to Azure is really easy to do! You must check only one prerequisite before uploading your VM to Azure: you will need to check what type of virtual hard disk is being used by the virtual machine. Hyper-V can use either VHD or VHDX based virtual hard disks. However, only VHD disks can be uploaded to Azure. Azure does not support VHDX disks.

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

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.

Starting from Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has added the BitLocker support for Cluster Shared Volumes to create an additional layer of protection for sensitive, highly available data. It allows adding an extra barrier to security by allowing only certain user accounts access to unlock the BitLocker volume. BitLocker uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm with either 128-bit or 256-bit keys. As to authentication options…well, there are few to choose from. You can authenticate by specifying a PIN or by storing a key on a flash drive, which you would then need to insert in order to boot the system.

Bitlocker Drive Encryption status

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Deploying Microsoft LAPS
Posted by Gary Williams on December 7, 2017
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As a summary, LAPS is the Local Administration Password solution from Microsoft. This software changes the local administrator password on a selection of machines on a schedule and stores that password in plain text in Active Directory.

The first time I came across LAPS was when I hear about project Honolulu and I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard about it before which is something of a shame because LAPS is one of those very handy little add-ins that Microsoft should be offering as part of the core AD experience.

For those who haven’t come across LAPS before, LAPS is a handy tool for scenarios where you need to change or set the local admin password to something random because you need to give out that password.

LASP settings

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Managing User Mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 with PowerShell
Posted by Karim Buzdar on November 22, 2017
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Managing user mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 is a day-to-day task of system engineers. This article focuses on managing user mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 including very common features like creating, removing and disabling the mailboxes with the help of PowerShell.

Importing an Exchange Management Shell

Your first step is to import an Exchange Management Shell before you can start executing Exchange Server’s related PowerShell commands.

create a user mailbox via PowerShell

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Getting started with PowerShell and VMware vSphere
Posted by Romain Serre on November 2, 2017
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Since some time, VMware provides PowerCLI which is a set of modules for VMware vSphere. Except if you were in a cave last 10 years, you should know that PowerShell is a powerful scripting language. Initially, PowerShell enabled to manage only Windows Workstation or Server but since sometimes, a lot of vendors make their own modules to manage their solutions (such as Veeam, VMware and so on). Moreover, PowerShell is available on Linux.

For my job, I always use PowerShell. I’m a lazy guy, and if I have to make something two times, I make a script. This is the same thing for VMware vSphere. In this topic, we’ll see how to connect to vCenter and some commands to start.

install PowerCli from the PowerShell gallery

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How to configure a Multi-Resilient Volume on Windows Server 2016 using Storage Spaces
Posted by Vitalii Feshchenko on October 24, 2017
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Introduction

Plenty of articles have been released about Storage Spaces and everything around this topic. However, I would like to absorb all actual information and lead you through the journey of configuring Storage Spaces on a Standalone host.

The main goal of the article is to show a Multi-Resilient Volume configuration process.

How it works

In order to use Storage Spaces, we need to have faster (NVMe, SSD) and slower (HDD) devices.

So, we have a set of NVMe devices along with SAS HDD or SATA HDD, and we should create performance and capacity tier respectively.

NVMe tier is used for caching. When hot blocks are written to the storage array, they are written to the caching tier first (SSD’s or NVMe):

Data in Performance Tier

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Accessing esxcli through PowerCLI
Posted by Mike Preston on October 4, 2017
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Picture this – you are working away developing a PowerCLI script that is performing multiple actions – you have it just about complete when you come to a roadblock.  After frantically googling around you find out that this one task you are trying to perform simply cannot be done through PowerShell, yet you know it exists within the local ESXi esxcli command namespace!  This has happened multiple times to me and thankfully, there is a way to access ESXi’s esxcli command namespace without having to leave the comforts of the PowerShell Console.

Chances are that if you have been working at all with ESXi you are familiar with the esxcli command – but for those that aren’t let’s take a quick look at what exactly it does.

esxcli namespaces

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Consuming a RestFul API with PowerShell
Posted by Mike Preston on September 14, 2017
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Creating automation and orchestration requires taking multiple data center components which all speak different languages and chaining them together through one consistent workflow.  Now there are a lot of programming and scripting languages that we can use as our orchestration engine such as Java, JavaScript, Perl, etc. – but one of the most common choices within the last 5 years has been PowerShell.

PowerShell script

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Installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with GUI
Posted by Karim Buzdar on September 5, 2017
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You can install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with either PowerShell or Graphical User Interface (GUI). However, in this article, I’ll focus on installation with the help of GUI.

Installing Prerequisites

To get started, join the server machine with domain and then install the latest update (which is KB4034661 at the time of writing this guide) on Windows Server 2016. You can check the update history from the following location:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4034661

Open Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges and run the sconfig utility. Write number 6 and then hit Enter from the keyboard.

Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges and sconfig utility

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

Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 servers added into a domain

 

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