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Windows Server 2016 Nano Server – Installation and Management
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on February 7, 2017
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Goal pic

Time to continue our conversation about that “scaled down even further” Server 2016 installation option. In my previous article, I covered general concepts around Nano Server, now I want to switch gears and talk about more practical aspects: installation and management. At the end of the day, you would agree that the best way to learn new technology it is trying to use it – this way you will be exposed to its strengths and weaknesses directly, and can get the real understanding of whether it works for you or not. Though at this point even Microsoft admits that despite all its greatness, at the moment, Nano Server has quite limited utility as it supports only a small subset of roles and features out of those which you can find in full GUI version of Windows Server.

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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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Upgrade your CA to SKP & SHA256. Part II: Move from a CSP to KSP provider
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on February 3, 2017
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Move from a CSP to KSP provider

Once you have moved to a least Windows Server 2008 R2 you can take this step. Any version below doesn’t allow for this and should be considered the end of life. Many haven’t made the move from a CSP to KSP provider yet, even when they are already running Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 for a few reasons. There were some issues with older clients like Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. These were fixed with a hotfix but in all seriousness, if you’re still on those OS versions you need to move a.s.a.p. and if not there’s nothing we can do to help you. A modern and secure PKI will be the last of your worries I’m afraid. For a Microsoft reference, see Migrating a Certification Authority Key from a Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) to a Key Storage Provider (KSP).

PKI Certifivate general

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Installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016
Posted by Nicolas Prigent on January 30, 2017
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Exchange server 2016

On October 1st, Microsoft Exchange Team released the new Exchange Server 2016. Microsoft has been testing and improving on millions of mailboxes in their Office365 environment before releasing the product on-premises. I will describe in this article a step-by-step guide for the installation of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. The installation considers:

  • a single server deployment of Exchange Server 2016 with the Mailbox role on a new Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 forest functional level
  • Exchange Server 2016 with the latest Cumulative Update 4

Because Windows PowerShell is a powerful tool that every sysadmin would know, I will use PowerShell to perform the installation. But If you prefer the graphical interface, you can use it!

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PowerShell ROBO
Posted by Mike Preston on January 17, 2017
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Picture this – you are a systems administrator working at a major banking institution.   The security team walks into your office and lets you know that a major update needs to be applied to all of the servers within the institution – not a problem for most organizations, but in the case of a bank, you could have hundreds if not thousands of remote and branch offices.  Sure, we can write scripts to copy out the update files and even execute them remotely from our head office – but the problem most ROBO scenarios are ever-changing – with new offices being created and others closing down all the time.  Keeping track of server names, IP schemes, etc. can be quite a time-consuming process.  Naturally, we want the same updates, patches, and fixes to be deployed everywhere, in the same manner, in order to provide consistency – so having this up to date list available when we need it is key to driving success within our environment.

cmdlet run

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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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Ransomware: 14 Key Methods of Protection
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on January 9, 2017
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After 2016 everyone can come to a certain conclusion that ransomware is a persistent phenomenon to reckon with from now on, with more sophisticated and innovative techniques to come. That is why it is crucial for very user and administrator to learn how to improve and protect their computer from ransomware. Here are some important steps to remember:

ransomware key

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[Docker] Image2Docker: Bye bye IIS on Windows Server, Hello IIS on Windows Containers
Posted by Florent Appointaire on December 15, 2016
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Docker logo

 

Image2Docker is a tool to convert some Windows Server roles to docker containers (on Windows, for sure).

With this new version, it’s possible to extract ASP.NET website to run them in containers. To start, I created a VM with 3 ASP.NET websites. This is the view that I have from IIS Manager:

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How to Deploy and Manage Software-Defined Networking using SCVMM 2016 – Part III
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on December 9, 2016
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 Data planeIntroduction

In Part I of this series, we created the tenant virtual network and connecting two VMs to it using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and then we validated that both VMs can route between each other.

In Part II, we created a public Virtual IP Address (VIP) on the Software Load Balancer (SLB) using VMM console and PowerShell through which we were able to access a website on the virtual network. We also created Site-to-site (S2S) VPN to a Remote site.

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How to Deploy and Manage Software-Defined Networking using SCVMM 2016 – Part II
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on December 8, 2016
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SDN

Introduction

In Part I of this series, we created the tenant virtual network and connecting two VMs to it using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and then we validated they can route between each other.

In this blog post Part II, we will be creating a public Virtual IP Address (VIP) on the Software Load Balancer (SLB) MUX using SCVMM and PowerShell through which you can access a website on your virtual network. We will also create Site-to-site (S2S) VPN to a Remote site.

Please make sure to check Part I so you can have an overview of the infrastructure and the VMM Logical Network that we are using throughout this series.

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