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 Vitalii Feshchenko on May 24, 2018
How to Perform Check Disk on Cluster Shared Volume on StarWind VSAN

Sometimes, you can see an error in Failover Cluster Manager as “Chkdsk scan needed on volume”. It might happen due to some potential problems on a disk. To fix the issue, the system advices you to run a Chkdsk which is the well-known command for every system administrator.

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Posted by Andrea Mauro on May 1, 2018
Using PowerShell on Linux

1 - Using PowerShell Core - Comands

PowerShell is a command line (CLI) scripting language developed by Microsoft to simplify automation and configuration management, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language.

It’s a (huge) evolution (or better a revolution) from the original DOS batch language (still supported in latest Windows OS with the cmd.exe command), and it’s really better compared to the different previous attempts to replace the batch language (like Windows Script Host).

Windows PowerShell (actually at version 5.1) is the edition of PowerShell built on top of .NET Framework (sometimes referred to as “FullCLR”). Because of its dependency on the .NET Framework, Windows PowerShell is only available on Windows (hence the name). The released versions of Windows PowerShell include 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 5.1. Windows PowerShell is launched as powershell.exe.

PowerShell initially was a Windows component only, known as Windows PowerShell, but recently it was made open-source and cross-platform on 18 August 2016 with the introduction of PowerShell Core.

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Posted by Alex Khorolets on April 3, 2018
Windows Server 2016 Core configuration. Part 3: Failover Clustering

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Looking back at the previous articles in our “How-to-Core basics”, we have managed to install the Core version of Windows Server 2016. As well, the required networks were set, and the storage for the virtual machines was created.

In the final part of the trilogy, I’ll cover the steps left to prepare the environment in order to make your production highly available and fault-tolerant.

Being short, last time, we were up to installing Windows Server Core version on a single server and adding the storage as an iSCSI target. Highly available and fault-tolerant storage requires another server to create the failover cluster. There’s not much difference between the required configuration and the steps we did previously.

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Posted by Romain Serre on March 28, 2018
Configure Live Migration in Hyper-V clusters

In part of my job, I audit some Hyper-V clusters to remediate issues such as Live Migration. Most of the time, Live Migration part is not well configured. For example, the wrong network is selected or authentication is left to CredSSP. In this topic, I’ll show you how I configure Live Migration in Hyper-V clusters (S2D or not).

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Posted by Boris Yurchenko on February 20, 2018
Don’t break your fingers with hundreds of clicks – automate Windows iSCSI connections

If you have a single environment with only several iSCSI targets discovered from a couple of target portals, messing with automation may not be worth it. Yet, if you have multiple environments with a bunch of portals and targets that need to be discovered and connected, and all of them are more or less similar in terms of configuration, you might find your resort in automating the whole process.

I hope to post some other automation things here, so tune in and check the StarWind blog from time to time.

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

 

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

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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Posted by Gary Williams on December 7, 2017
Deploying Microsoft LAPS

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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Posted by Karim Buzdar on November 22, 2017
Managing User Mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 with PowerShell

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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