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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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SCOM 2016 on Windows Server 2016 Server Core
Posted by Florent Appointaire on October 27, 2016
5/5 (1)

Microsoft System Center logo

After the first 2 articles on how to install SQL Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 Server Core and SCVMM 2016 on Server Core too, we’ll continue with the next product, SCOM 2016.

I take a look at the article of Tao Yang to do this installation. My SQL Server is already ready, so I’ll not speak about this in this article.

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Install SCVMM 2016 on Windows Server 2016 Server Core
Posted by Florent Appointaire on October 26, 2016
5/5 (4)

In a previous article, I explained how to install SQL Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 Server Core.

Through this blog post, I’ll explain to you how to install SCVMM 2016 RTM, on a Server Core. This last version is compatible with SQL Server 2016.

To start, download the Windows ADK 10 version 1607 on the SCVMM Server. Here, you can see all features with the command

For SCVMM 2016, we need Deployment Tools and Windows Preinstallation Environment :

windows adk 10 version 1607

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Deploy VM Fleet to benchmark your storage system
Posted by Romain Serre on October 25, 2016
5/5 (5)

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.

windows server administrator

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What is Key Storage Drive in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on October 13, 2016
5/5 (2)

usb key

Introduction

Security is a critical requirement of any organization’s system. With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft puts a lot of efforts around security and added a lot of new features. One hot feature that will add a lot of benefits to any small, medium and enterprise business environments is Shielded Virtual Machines and Key Storage Drive (KSD). Be sure that’s going to help you to increase the security whether you are a service provider or enterprise customer.

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How to Protect your Data on Nano Server using Storage Replica?
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on October 10, 2016
5/5 (3)

sim card

Introduction

With the release of Windows Server 2016, there’s a lot of new features that have been added to increase availability and security. One hot feature that will add a lot of benefits for small, medium and enterprise business environments is Storage Replica (SR). Be sure that’s going to help you in your Disaster Recovery Plan and protect your data against catastrophic losses.

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Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Backup Rises to the challenges
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 19, 2016
4.67/5 (3)

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
4.8/5 (5)

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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