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
Sorry for the alphabet soup title but I thought some explanation was due in regards to iSCSI redundancy options and issues you may have with IPv6.
Multi-path I/O (MPIO) and Multiple Connections per Session (MCS) are two options you have to provide load balancing and redundancy to your iSCSI connections. MPIO and MCS are the same but different. MPIO leverages Device Specific Modules (DSM) to manage the requests over multiple paths.
MCS is part of the iSCSI protocol and allows for teaming of iSCSI connections. In order for this to work your SAN vendor must support it and your virtualization platform must support it as well. VMWare supports MPIO but not MCS and Hyper-V supports both.
Whichever you choose is not relevant but there is something you should be aware of in regards to MCS. MCS does not support using both IPv4 and IPv6 with the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator. If you have IPv6
Continue reading MPIO, MCS, IPv6 and iSCSI
I know a lot of people using XP Mode to solve app compat issues as they move to Windows 7. It is simple enough to deploy and great for the few user scenarios where you don’t want to deploy MED-V. Managing the XP Mode VMs is an important task and the easiest way to manage it, outside of deploying MED-V, is to join it to the domain. That way you can manage it the same way you manage all the other machines in your domain. Joining the XP Mode VM to the domain is done the same way as any other machine but there are a few permissions that need to be configured to get it to work properly once it has been joined.
Because the local user context will be changed from the default local account in XP Mode to a domain account you will need to add Domain Users
Continue reading Joining XP Mode VM to the Domain
One of the more frustrating issues with devices and drivers is the Unknown Device. This little tip should make it a little less frustrating. An unknown device will always report a Hardware ID. You can use this ID to determine what the hardware is and that should make finding the driver easier. While the PC vendor may not supply one the hardware vendor should. To determine what the hardware is open Device Manager, right-click on the item and select Properties. Under the Details tab select Hardware ID from the drop down list.
Take note of the ID and then browse to http://www.pcidatabase.com and enter the Vendor ID and the Device ID and the database will provide the information required. In the example in the screenshot I entered 8086 as the Vendor ID (VEN_8086) and 10EA as the Device ID (DEV_10EA) and it was determined that the device in
Continue reading Determine Driver for Unknown Devices
MDT 2010 is a great tool you can use to deploy Windows 7 in your environment. I allows you to use what is known as LTI or Lite Touch Installation to install Windows. It is called LTI because someone needs to touch the machine in the form of booting it up selecting a task sequence and answering a few questions in the LiteTouch Wizard. You can reduce the amount of prompts and make it “lighter” with some tweaking of MDT.
When you kick off the MDT LiteTouch Wizard the first thing it asks you for is the credentials of an account that has permissions to access the deployment share. This can be a domain account or a local account on the MDT server. You can provide this to the deployment technicians or include it in the bootstrap.ini. To include it in the bootstrap.ini right-click on the deployment share and select Properties.
Continue reading Customizing MDT 2010 Wizards
Errors with the MSI Installer, aka MSIExec.exe, show up now and then and can be frustrating to fix. You’ll see these errors trying to install applications, updates, hotfixes and any other type of MSI packages. There are a few things to do to fix this issue depending on how messed up it is. In the simplest of cases simply re-registering the MSI Installer.
Reboot the computer into Safe Mode
From a command line run MSIExec /regserver
Reboot the computer normally
If that does not solve the problem you have to reinstall the MSI Installer. It is another simple process just follow these steps:
Open a command prompt and change directory to %windir%\system32
Run attrib -r -s -h dllcache
Rename the following files to .old
Download Windows Installer (latest version 4.5) and install
If you are doing this on Windows Vista/Server 2008/R2 or Windows 7 you will need
Continue reading Repair The MSI Installer
Before capturing your Windows 7 image you need to Sysprep it. The Sysprep tool hasn’t changed but a reminder of the options is always nice. In Windows 7 the Sysprep files are located at:
You can double click the executable or use the command line to seal the system. The options available are: