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Installing System Center Configuration Manager 1610 (Current Branch) on Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016. PART1
Posted by Nicolas Prigent on March 14, 2017
5/5 (1)

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

On November 17th  2016, Microsoft SCCM Team has released version 1610 for the Current Branch (CB) of System Center Configuration Manager that includes some great new features and product enhancements.

SCCM 1610 includes lots of new features and enhancements in Windows 10 and Office 365 management, application management, end user experience, client management and also includes new functionality in hybrid mode with Microsoft Intune.

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How to Deploy Software-Defined Networking with VMM SDN Express for SCVMM 2016?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on February 28, 2017
4/5 (3)

SCVMM 2016 SDN Express

Introduction

Microsoft announced the release of VMM SDN Express for System Center Virtual Machines Manager 2016 to simplify their Software-Defined Networking (SDNv2) deployment infrastructure.

In short, VMM SDN Express is basically a VMM PowerShell script and parameter file that help you to deploy a production-ready Software-Defined Networking on top of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition and SCVMM 2016, and without you having to move through multiple wizards or having to wait for a long time.

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Storage Spaces Direct: Enabling S2D work with unsupported device types (BusType = NVMe, RAID, Fibre Channel). Part 1: Registry hack
Posted by Taras Shved on February 10, 2017
5/5 (4)

Introduction

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a new storage feature introduced in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter that significantly extends the software-defined storage stack in Windows Server product family and allows users to build highly-available storage systems using directly attached drives.

Storage Spaces Direct or S2D helps to simplify the deployment and management of software-defined storage systems as well as to open the use of more classes of disk devices like SATA and NVMe drives. Previously it was not possible to use these types of storage with clustered Storage Spaces with shared disks.

Storage Spaces Direct can use drives that are locally attached to nodes in a cluster or disks that are attached to nodes using enclosure. It aggregates all the disks into a single Storage Pool and enables the creation of virtual disks on top.

Storage Spaced Direct stack

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Windows Server 2016 Nano Server – Installation and Management
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on February 7, 2017
5/5 (3)

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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Upgrade your CA to SKP & SHA256. Part I: Setting the Stage
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on January 31, 2017
4.75/5 (4)

Introduction

Many Certificate Authority servers that were installed on Windows Server 2003 never got upgraded until Microsoft ceased the support of Windows 2003. Some of those are still out there running today. A massive amount of them got set up in an era when Wi-Fi in the SME market became very popular and CA servers were deployed to easily secure access to it. To be fair, a lot of administrators didn’t wait for Windows Server 2003 support to expire and made sure their CA was more or less up to date by upgrading them in place. That alone is something to commend. However, the operating system version only introduces the capability of using modern more secure providers and algorithms. It doesn’t upgrade the ones used by the PKI automatically for you. So many of these upgrade PKI servers are still using an old cryptographic provider, the “Microsoft Strong Cryptographic Provider” (SCP) and an old hash algorithm (SHA1) that’s been deprecated (see SHA1 Deprecation: What You Need to Know) or even banned.

Max Pixe

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Installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016
Posted by Nicolas Prigent on January 30, 2017
5/5 (4)

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
5/5 (2)

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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How to Deploy and Manage Software-Defined Networking using SCVMM 2016 – Part I
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on December 7, 2016
3.5/5 (4)

Rack

Introduction

Software Defined Networking (SDN) in Windows Server 2016 provides a method to centrally configure and manage physical and virtual network devices such as routers, switches, load balancers and gateways in your datacenter. Virtual network elements such as Hyper-V Virtual Switch, Hyper-V Network Virtualization, and RAS Gateway are designed to be integral elements of your SDN infrastructure.

Please note that you must install Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition for Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines (VMs) that run SDN infrastructure servers, such as Network Controller and Software Load Balancing nodes. However, you can run Windows Server 2016 Standard edition for Hyper-V hosts that contain only tenant workload virtual machines that are connected to SDN-controlled networks.

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Nano Server Image Builder tool
Posted by Romain Serre on November 15, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

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.

Nano Server Image Builder

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) Stack in the Windows Server 2016
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on November 3, 2016
5/5 (2)

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.

VXLAN Encapsulation
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