Windows Server 2016 will be released the next month said Microsoft the last month. Windows Server 2016 brings a lot of new features compared to the last Windows Server version for Hyper-V, networking and storage. In this topic I will try to convince you to move from prior Windows Server edition to Windows Server 2016 with eight reasons.
With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing a new type of teaming approach called Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) which is a virtualization aware, how is that different from NIC Teaming (LBFO), the first part it is embedded into the Hyper-V virtual switch, that means a couple of things, the first one you don’t have any team interfaces anymore, you won’t be able to build anything extra on top of it, you can’t set property on the team because it’s part of the virtual switch, you set all the properties directly on the vSwitch. This is targeted to support Software Defined Networking (SDN) switch capabilities, it’s not a general purpose use everywhere teaming solution that NIC Teaming was intended to be. So this is specifically integrated with Packet Direct, Converged RDMA vNIC and SDN-QoS. It’s only supported when using the SDN-Extension.
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.
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).
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.
The QoS policy was a feature included in Windows Server 2012 R2 that enabled to set a minimum and a maximum IOPS on a VHD(X). These policies were not centralized and you had to set the QoS policy on each VHD(X) independently.
In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has improved this feature because the policy can now be stored in the cluster database. You can create a policy based on a minimum / maximum IOPS and/or a bandwidth. This policy can be applied to a VHD(X) (Dedicated Policy Type) or to a set of VHD(X) (Aggregated policy Type).
At the time of writing, we are at PowerShell v5.0. If you are new to PowerShell DSC, I highly encourage you to start investing and learning this awesome technology today.
DSC is a big topic and can get complex, you should first start learning the basics before you move into advanced scenarios. A good source of reading is on MSDN Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Overview. This will give you a good start, but there is plenty of great information out there around this topic.
Desired State Configuration can be configured to deliver configurations in two different methods; push and pull.
In part two of this multi part blog series, we covered the creation and configuration of a GitHub account, to host a GitHub repository for a Quick Start template, and then we examined Visual Studio Code integration with Git and lastly we pushed commits to a remote repository on GitHub.
In the final post, we will modify and deploy sample and custom template and parameter JSON files.