With Windows Server 2012 set to RTM in the next few weeks there are some changes to versions and licensing that you should be aware of. For years Microsoft has been saying that licensing is getting easier and with WS2012 it really has with only two editions being released.
- Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition
- Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition
And with these two editions the features and functionality is identical. Standard Edition has the same memory support (4TB) the same physical processor support (64 CPUs) and the same feature set including Failover Clustering. When it comes time to load the OS on to a server you simply need to determine if the server will run a standalone workload or if it will be a virtualization host.
Standalone workload = Standard Edition
Virtualization host = Datacenter Edition
Both are licensed per physical CPU (number of cores is irrelevant) now with the base license including support for 2
Continue reading Windows Server 2012 Licensing
So I have been playing with WS 2012 a bit lately and found this very interesting feature in the Add Roles and Features Wizard that allows you to export the current configuration to an XML file. When you get to the end of the wizard click on Export Configuration Settings!
Windows 2008 saw the introduction of Server Core which was a great idea but most people never implemented because they believed it to be overly complex having no GUI. It really wasn’t but regardless it saw limited deployment. In Windows Server 8 the GUI is a feature that can be added and removed as necessary. This will allow you to install the full OS, configure it and then remove the GUI to lock down security. When you install the Sever 8 OS you have the option of Server Core or Server with a GUI. This is a major improvement in Windows Server 8 that hopefully leads to more deployments of the core OS version.
Once the OS is installed and configured you can remove the feature through Remove Roles and
Continue reading Windows 8 Add/Remove GUI
I remember when I was at an internal Microsoft conference with a colleague and we had the chance to mingle with and ask questions to the people building all the various MS products in development. I had a laugh as my colleague went on a bit of a rant about why ISO mounting was not being included in Windows 7. I had to agree that this was a big miss considering you could already mount VHDs in the betas, ISO mounting made even more sense. Afterall 99% of the TechNet and MSDN downloads are ISOs right?
Well Windows 8 is finally on board with native ISO mounting. Simply right-click the ISO and select mount.
To eject, go to the Windows Explorer Ribbon and select Drive Tools and then click Eject. For VHDs it is the same process.
Simple, functional and a very long time coming…
Windows PowerShell is a “powerful” method of managing servers and in Windows 8 it becomes even more powerful. Hyper-V R1 and R2 didn’t have native PowerShell cmdlets built in. If you deployed SCVMM you would have access to the VMM servers cmdlets or you could download the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V from Codeplex.
In Windows 8 there are specific cmdlets for Hyper-V (around 150 by my count) to help you manage your Hyper-V R3 environment via the command line. Eric Bahna from Microsoft produced this video detailing some of the things you can do with PowerShell in Hyper-V R3.
I know it is hard to see what is going on but thankfully he produced a set up guide and a step by step guide so you can reproduce this demo in your test lab.
VMWare has had Storage VMotion available as an option for a while now and with SCVMM 2008 R2 Microsoft added Storage Quick Migration. Storage Quick Migration worked well but there was downtime involved and it wasn’t an ideal solution. In Hyper-V R3 Microsoft has added the ability to live migrate storage.
Select Move and the Move VM wizard will begin. Select the type of move you want to perform.
Next select how you want to move the storage. You can consolidate all the VM files to a single location, split the VM files to different locations or move only the VHD files.
In this sample we are moving all the files to a
Continue reading Hyper-V R3 Storage Migration
Windows Server 8 brings with it Hyper-V R3. Within R3 there are quite a few new features and two specific to storage that I know a lot of people are looking forward too. The first one I have been asked about hundreds of times and it is finally available in Windows 8 Hyper-V, virtual fibre channel HBAs. You can now connect a Hyper-V R3 virtual machine to a fibre channel SAN.
The virtual FC HBA does have a few requirements:
- A server running Windows Server 8 with Hyper-V role installed.
- The server requires a Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) with a driver that supports Virtual Fibre Channel. See this list for your options
- A virtual machine configured to use a virtual Fibre Channel adapter
- The VM OS must be Windows 2008, 2008 R2 or Windows Server 8
- Note you cannot boot from a virtual FC LUN
Windows Server 8 also brings a new disk
Continue reading Hyper-V R3 Storage Improvements
So Windows Server 8 is out in beta now and there are a lot of new features and functionality. We’ll be covering them off over the next few weeks starting with some small but signifigant changes in regards to file services.
First up is Dynamic Access Control which provides for a more flexible and granular control over data classification, access policies, audit policies and RMS. Windows Server 8 support for modeling the effective access to a file/folder along with:
- Support for multiple auditing policies
- Automatic classification mechanisms for file servers to allow administrators to easily customize automatic classification
- Access Denied Remediation to support any file type launched from explorer
More importantly is support for SMB level encryption. Currently SMB traffic is not encrypted and if you need it to be you must deploy IPSec and is all or nothing. With SMB encryption it can be enabled per server
Continue reading Windows Server 8–File Sharing
So you’ve downloaded Windows 8 and played around with it only to find out that it is pretty touch centric and you don’t have a touch screen. Have no fear this list of keyboard shortcuts should help until that unicorn like Windows 8 tablet arrives.
Desktop Mode – Most of these are Windows 7 shortcuts but also work in Windows 8
In a typical Hyper-V R2 cluster built on Microsoft’s best practices will have 6-8 NICs depending on the SAN type (iSCSI or FC) including:
- Management Network
- VM Network
- VM Network
- CSV Network
- Live Migration Network
- Cluster Heartbeat Network
- iSCSI MPIO (or FC adapter)
- iSCSI MPIO (or FC adapter)
One common issue that comes up in this scenario is failed Live Migrations, Quick Migrations will work but live ones will not. When you attempt a Live Migration and it fails due to “A cluster network is not available for this operation” it is caused by improper NIC Binding Order on the Hyper-V Hosts. When this happens two events are created in the Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V High Availability\Admin event log on the destination server. Look for EventID 21126 and 21111
Your first thought will be to check that all the cluster resources are online and you will find they are. When this happens you need
Continue reading Live Migration NIC Binding