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Don’t Fear but Respect Redirected IO with Shared VHDX
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 25, 2016
5/5 (2)

Introduction

When we got Shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2 we were quite pleased as it opened up the road to guest clustering (Failover clustering in virtual machines) without needing to break through the virtualization layer with iSCSI or virtual Fibre Channel (vFC).

First of all, you need to be aware of the limits of using a shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  1. You cannot perform storage live migration
  2. You cannot resize the VHDX online
  3. You cannot do host based backups (i.e. you need to do in guest backups)
  4. No support for checkpoints
  5. No support for Hyper-V Replica

If you cannot live with these, that’s a good indicator this is not for you. But if you can, you should also take care of the potential redirected IO impact that can and will occur. This doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but you need to know about it, design and build for it and test it realistically for your real life workloads.

active guest cluster node is running on the Hyper-V host

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How to Build a Secure PowerShell DSC Pull Server?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on June 7, 2016
5/5 (1)

Introduction

Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a technology introduced by Microsoft in Windows PowerShell v4.0.

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.

PowerShell DSCPullServer

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SMB3: Overview
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on May 10, 2016
4.6/5 (5)

This is an overview of the Server Message Block (SMB3) protocol from Microsoft. It offers a short insight into the history of SMB3 creation and development over the years (as the idea is technically around 30 years old). As of Windows Server 2012, the protocol got new features: SMB Transparent Failover, SMB Scale Out, SMB Multichannel, SMB Direct, SMB Encryption, VSS for SMB file shares, SMB Directory Leasing, SMB PowerShell. In Windows Server 2016, it also got Pre-authentication integrity and Cluster dialect fencing. The post concentrates on RDMA-capable SMB Direct and MPIO-utilizing SMB Multichannel and their benefits. Also, it is an introduction to a series of tests aimed at creating SMB 3.0 File Servers in an unusual way.

SMB

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