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A little about Disk write cache on Windows VM
Posted by Bogdan Savchenko on March 9, 2017
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Introduction

There are lots of great materials on optimization of virtualized environments that I think many of you will enjoy reading about. Such topics are all over the IT community and they cover a wide range of the technical questions. This article will focus on the matter which is not quite clear yet, especially when it comes from theory to practice. It’s about Windows Disk write cache feature and its implications for data consistency and performance of the virtual hard drives.

Test VM settings

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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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Windows Server 2016 Nano Server – Just enough OS model
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on January 13, 2017
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Nano Server image

We are in 2017 now, and it’s about fourth month since Windows Server 2016 has been RTMed in September 2016. By now, everyone probably heard about one of the big new features of Windows Server 2016 – Nano Server, new installation option which you can’t select during setup 🙂 . But I think there is still a lot of “why” and “how” questions around Nano Server. In this blog post, I will try to provide a bit of a history and compare Nano Server with other installation types.

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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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Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on November 22, 2016
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Big news: this year Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member.

Microsoft contributed a lot to Linux over the past several years, first of all, with improving support for Hyper-V. The company appears to be a reasonably good open source community member, not just publishing source code repositories that are sporadically updated from an internal development branch, but actually performing development in the open community contributions and being open for discussion and finding consensus regarding new features.

microsoft and linux

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How-to Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Thumb Drive for Installing OS
Posted by Vladan Seget on October 6, 2016
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Microsoft has released the final version of the Windows Server 2016. I thought that it might be a good idea to create a USB stick which can be used as a source to install Windows Server 2016 OS to other servers/workstations.

There are many free tools which can be used to do the job, but sometimes you just don’t have that option or simply you do not want to use any free tools for this job. It is not so difficult to create a bootable USB, and this post will teach you that in 6 easy steps.

This process does work on any version of Windows Server or Windows Desktop version 8 or above. It uses Microsoft Diskpart tool present on those systems. It’s a command line tool which is invoked by simply typing “Diskpart” from within a command prompt.

Command prompt

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The HTML5 Web Client Fling
Posted by Mike Preston on August 9, 2016
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VMware has long stopped adding newly released features and functionality into the old С# client in hopes to push their customers into using the vSphere Web Client.  However, even by restricting new features only to the Web Client adoption has been slow – partly due to change, no one likes change, but mostly due to the slowness and the overall sluggishness that is experienced using the flash-based vSphere Web Client.

Just this year with the release of vSphere 6.0 Update 2 we saw something called the “Embedded Host Client” make its way into a release – allowing us to manage our individual ESXi hosts with an HTML5 based interface built right into the product.  Now we are seeing this same type of HTML5 technology being used with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client fling being released.

vSphere client

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BadTunnel Bug, which Hijacks Network Traffic and Affects All Windows Versions, has been patched by Microsoft
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on June 21, 2016
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The works of Yang Yu, founder of Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab, have helped Microsoft to patch a significant security issue in its implementation of the NetBIOS protocol that affected all Windows existing versions.

It was found out that the attacker can exploit this vulnerability to pass as a WPAD or ISATAP server and redirect all the victim’s network traffic through a point controlled by the attacker. Network traffic here means not just Web HTTP and HTTPS, but also OS updates, software upgrades, Certificate Revocation List updates via Microsoft’s Crypto API, and other OS maintenance operations.microsoft

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SMB3: Overview
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on May 10, 2016
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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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Getting Started with Azure Resource Manager and Azure Deployment – Part II
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on April 28, 2016
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Introduction

In part one of this multi part blog series, we explained the benefits of Azure Resource Manager and resource groups in Azure V2 versus the Service Management API in Azure V1, then we looked in depth at JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Quick Start templates. In the second part, Part II: we will create and configure a GitHub account, if you don’t already have one, to host a GitHub repository for a Quick Start template, and lastly we will examine Visual Studio Code integration with Git and push commits to a remote repository. In the final post, we will modify and deploy sample/custom template and parameter JSON files.
If you missed Part I, please make sure to check it here before you continue with this post.

ImageHeader-Part II

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