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Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Backup Rises to the challenges
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 19, 2016
4.5/5 (2)

Introduction

In Windows Sever 2016 Microsoft improved Hyper-V backup to address many of the concerns mentioned in our previous Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address:

  • They avoid the need for agents by making the API’s remotely accessible. It’s all WMI calls directly to Hyper-V.
  • They implemented their own CBT mechanism for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to reduce the amount of data that needs to be copied during every backup. This can be leveraged by any backup vendor and takes away the responsibility of creating CBT from the backup vendors. This makes it easier for them to support Hyper-V releases faster. This also avoids the need for inserting drivers into the IO path of the Hyper-V hosts. Sure the testing & certification still has to happen as all vendors now can be impacted by a bug MSFT introduced.
  • They are no longer dependent on the host VSS infrastructure. This eliminates storage overhead as wells as the storage fabric IO overhead associated with performance issues when needing to use host level VSS snapshots on the entire LUN/CSV for even a single VM.
  • This helps avoid the need for hardware VSS providers delivered by storage vendors and delivers better results with storage solution that don’t offer hardware providers.
  • Storage vendors and backup vendors can still integrate this with their snapshots for speedy and easy backup and restores. But as the backup work at the VM level is separated from an (optional) host VSS snapshot the performance hit is less and the total duration significantly reduced.
  • It’s efficient in regard to the number of data that needs to be copied to the backup target and stored there. This reduces capacity needed and for some vendors the almost hard dependency on deduplication to make it even feasible in regards to cost.
  • These capabilities are available to anyone (backup vendors, storage vendors, home grown PowerShell scripts …) who wishes to leverage them and doesn’t prevent them from implementing synthetic full backups, merge backups as they age etc. It’s capable enough to allow great backup solutions to be built on top of it.

Let’s dive in together and take a closer look.

Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V backup
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WS2016: Start with Windows Containers
Posted by Florent Appointaire on September 16, 2016
5/5 (1)

Windows Server

With the next release of Windows Server, 2016, who will be available during Ignite conference (end of September), a new feature will be released. It’s Windows Containers.

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Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 12, 2016
4.75/5 (4)

Introduction

Personally I have been very successful at providing good backup designs for Hyper-V in both small to larger environments using budgets that range in between “make due” to “well-funded”.  How does one achieve this? Two factors. The first factor is knowing the strengths and limitations of the various Hyper-V versions when you design the backup solution. Bar the ever better scalability, performance and capabilities with each new version of Hyper-V, the improvements in back up from 2012 to 2012 R2 for example were a prime motivator to upgrade. The second factor of success is due to the fact that I demand a mandate and control over the infrastructure stack to do so. In many case you are not that lucky and can’t change much in already existing environments. Sometimes not even in new environments when the gear, solutions have already been chosen, purchased and the design is deployed before you get involved.

Windows Server 2008 (R2) - 2012 Hyper-V Backup
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Musings on Windows Server Converged Networking & Storage
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 19, 2016
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Why you should learn about SMB Direct, RDMA & lossless Ethernet for both networking & storage solutions

fully converged Hyper-V Qos Courtesy of Microsoft
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How to Deploy and Manage Storage Spaces Direct Cluster using SCVMM 2016?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on August 18, 2016
4/5 (2)

Hyper-converged stack

Windows Server 2016 – Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-converged [image credit: Microsoft]

Introduction

With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), which enables building highly available Software-Defined Storage systems with local attached storage. This storage can be leveraged by VMs running on the same cluster (in hyper-converged mode) or the storage can be presented as a File Share (in disaggregated mode). The hyper-converged deployment scenario has the Hyper-V (compute) and Storage Spaces Direct (storage) components on the same cluster. Virtual machine’s files are stored on local CSVs. Once Storage Spaces Direct is configured and the CSV volumes are available, configuring and provisioning Hyper-V is the same process and uses the same tools that you would use with any other Hyper-V deployment on a failover cluster.

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Why moving from Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2016 for Hyper-V
Posted by Romain Serre on August 16, 2016
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Windows Server 2016 will be released the next month said Microsoft the last month. Windows Server 2016 brings a lot of new features compared to the last Windows Server version for Hyper-V, networking and storage. In this topic I will try to convince you to move from prior Windows Server edition to Windows Server 2016 with eight reasons.

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Shared virtual hard disks in Hyper-V 2016
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 9, 2016
4.67/5 (3)

Datacenter

A new feature called VHD Set for Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016 has been introduced by Microsoft. It allows sharing virtual hard disks between several servers in order to implement guest cluster easily without using complex technologies such as NPIV, virtual HBA, or virtual SAN.

As VHD Set, Shared VHDX enables sharing a virtual hard disk between multiple virtual machines. This feature is useful for implementing a guest cluster where shared disks are required (e.g., SQL Server AlwaysOn/FCI or File Servers).

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How to Deploy Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) Using SCVMM 2016?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on August 5, 2016
5/5 (1)

Windows Server 2016 - Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA       Windows Server 2016 – Switch Embedded Teaming with RDMA [image credit: Microsoft]

Introduction

With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing a new type of teaming approach called Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) which is a virtualization aware, how is that different from NIC Teaming (LBFO), the first part it is embedded into the Hyper-V virtual switch, that means a couple of things, the first one you don’t have any team interfaces anymore, you won’t be able to build anything extra on top of it, you can’t set property on the team because it’s part of the virtual switch, you set all the properties directly on the vSwitch. This is targeted to support Software Defined Networking (SDN) switch capabilities, it’s not a general purpose use everywhere teaming solution that NIC Teaming was intended to be. So this is specifically integrated with Packet Direct, Converged RDMA vNIC and SDN-QoS. It’s only supported when using the SDN-Extension.

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Microsoft’s Server Management Tools Now Supports Windows Server 2012
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on August 3, 2016
3/5 (1)

New Server Management Tools (SMT) suite now on supports Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, as it has been recently announced by Microsoft.

SMT includes a collection of well-known tools, such as Task Manager, Registry Editor, Event Viewer, Device Manager and Control Panel. Windows Update has been also added to that list few months ago. The difference is that now these tools actually are services housed in Microsoft’s Azure datacenters. Organizations must set up an on-premises gateway (which is called “server management gateway” by Microsoft) in order to use them.

“All SMT tools, except Windows Update and Device Manager, will now work with Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2012,”- Microsoft.

Tools

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Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft describes the future of Server 2016
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on July 18, 2016
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Microsoft published details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, which includes a “Windows as a service” model of frequent operating system updates.

Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the Ignite conference (September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia); there will be three editions: Datacenter, Standard and Essentials.

windowsserver 2016

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