After hearing some news about Microsoft like, largely investing in Open Source hardware, PowerShell open source and for Linux, SQL Server for Linux, MS joining the Linux foundation, and so many others; you may think hell just starting freezing, but no, this is how Microsoft is engaging the world now. Integration is the keyword, and we salute them for that.
Adding a new feature among these is the recent update to their main backup tool for cloud: Azure Backup Server now supports VMware virtual machines. MABS (Microsoft Azure Backup Server) it is not a new tool, it’s been around for a while now offering backups for Hyper-V virtual machines, physical machines, file servers, SQL, SharePoint and Exchange.
Ever since PowerShell hit the stage it’s adoption has been increasing dramatically – Finally that Windows-based scripting language that not only appeals to Windows administrators with an easy to use structure but has been widely adopted by the industry surrounding the third-party applications. There aren’t many mainstream products out today that don’t support PowerShell. Don’t get me wrong – adoption is great, but with that needs to come a little organization – we, as administrators have managed to spread those PS1 files all over the place – they are scattered on servers here and there, our PC’s, inside of cloud storage. Basically, when we have discovered issues or needed to apply configuration changes we have created our scripts and just left those files laying around. When the time comes to fix that problem again we sometimes find ourselves hunting down those scripts – which, by taking more time than it needs to, sort of defeats the purpose of the efficiency of automation in the first place.
Nano Server is a new way to deploy Windows Server in your datacenter or in the Cloud. Nano Server is a low footprint operating system which handles what you need and no more. When you create the Nano Server, you choose the role that you want to add to the image (Hyper-V, Storage, containers and so on). Nano Server doesn’t contain Windows Logon, 32-bit legacy or cannot be managed by GPO.
Currently, I don’t really like Nano Server for some jobs as Hyper-V or storage. Nano Server comes with the Current Branch for Business servicing model. So, to be fully supported, your Nano Server has to be upgraded two or three times in a year. You can imagine what happens with hundreds of Hyper-V/Storage nodes? Anyway, Nano Server can run other jobs as IIS and Containers, and in these cases, it could be fine.
In this topic, I’ll show you how to prepare a Nano Server image which will be deployed in a virtual machine. The operating system will be configured to run containers. To create the Nano Server image, I’ll use the Nano Server Image Builder tool which is a graphical interface to prepare the image in VHD, VHDX or WIM file format.
Windows Server 2016 enables building a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) with new layers of security and Azure-related approach for hosting business applications and infrastructure. The new Software Defined Network (SDN) Stack provides dynamic security and hybrid flexibility by enforcing network policy in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch using the Azure Virtual Filtering Platform (VFP) Switch Extension. Instead of programming network configurations into a physical switch, the new Microsoft Network Controller delivers the network policy to the Hyper-V Hosts using the OVSDB protocol and is programmed into the VFP extension of the vSwitch by a Host Agent which enforces the policy.
VM Fleet is a collection of scripts that enables to deploy virtual machines which perform I/O to stress the underlying storage system. To achieve I/O, the VMs leverages DiskSpd which is a Microsoft tool.
When you implement an infrastructure based on Hyper-V, you usually want to get the maximum IOPS and MB/s that your storage can deliver. This tool helps you to get this information by stressing your storage. In this topic, we will see how to deploy a VM Fleet to benchmark the storage system.
It has three years since VMware announced and showcased NSX to the world. Since then everyone and then some has announced their version of SDN. You have players such a Cisco, Cumulus Networks and of course VMware in this space. All doing SDN in their own unique way. Cisco being the biggest network player of course wants to move hardware to your datacenter. Therefore, their way to SDN is to buy new boxes. Another player is Cumulus Networks, again theirs another focus. Here the OS is king. Build on open source components Cumulus Networks deliver the OS for SDN, which run on any white box. If you do not want to build your own white box networks based on Cumulus Networks many vendors have, join Cumulus Networks. Vendors such as HPE, Dell and Supermicro amongst others are selling switches, which comes with Cumulus Networks OS baked in. Even Microsoft is entering the stage of SDN with Server 2016, though one could argue a bit late, but then better late than never.