Miscellaneous – Tech-Coffee https://www.tech-coffee.net Tue, 02 Apr 2019 20:13:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.11 65682309 Deploy a Windows Server 2019 RDS farm with HTML5 client https://www.tech-coffee.net/deploy-a-windows-server-2019-rds-farm-with-html5-client/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/deploy-a-windows-server-2019-rds-farm-with-html5-client/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2018 14:38:50 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=6492 These days I’m trying in depth Windows Server 2019. Today I chose to pay attention to Remote Desktop Services. The goal of my lab is to deploy a RDS Farm with all components and with the new HTML5 Remote Desktop Client. Even though I’m running my lab on Windows Server 2019, you can also deploy ...

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These days I’m trying in depth Windows Server 2019. Today I chose to pay attention to Remote Desktop Services. The goal of my lab is to deploy a RDS Farm with all components and with the new HTML5 Remote Desktop Client. Even though I’m running my lab on Windows Server 2019, you can also deploy the HTML5 client on Windows Server 2016. In this topic, I wanted to share with you the steps I followed to deploy the Windows Server 2019 RDS farm.

Requirements

To make this lab, I have deployed four virtual machines which are running Windows Server 2019:

  • RDS-APP-01: RD Host Server that hosts the RemoteApp collection
  • RDS-DKP-01: RD Host Server that hosts the Remote Desktop collection
  • RDS-BRK-01: Hosts RD Broker and RD Licensing
  • RDS-WEB-01: Hosts RD Web Access and RD Gateway

Then I have a public certificate for RD Web Access and RD Gateway role:

I have also a private certificate for RD Broker publishing and RD Broker connection. To create this certificate, I duplicated the Workstation Authentication ADCS template as described in this topic.

I have register both certificates in PFX (with private key) and in cer (just the public certificate).

Finally, I have two DNS zone:

  • SeromIT.local: Active Directory forest zone
  • SeromIT.com: splitted zone: hosted by local domain controllers and by public provider. I use this zone to connect from Internet. In this zone I have created two registrations:
    • Apps.SeromIT.com: leading to RDS-WEB-01 (CNAME)
    • RDS-GW.SeromIT.com: leading to RDS-BRK-01 (CNAME) for the gateway

RDS farm deployment

To deploy the RDS farm, I use only PowerShell. In this way I can reproduce the deployment for other customers. First of all, I run a Remote Desktop deployment to configure a RD Web Access, a RD Broker and a RD Host Server:


New-RDSessionDeployment -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
                        -SessionHost RDS-DKP-01.SeromIT.local `
                        -WebAccessServer RDS-WEB-01.SeromIT.local

Then I run a PowerShell cmdlet to add another RD Host Server, a RD Licensing and a RD Gateway role.


Add-RDServer -Server RDS-APP-01.SeromIT.local `
             -Role RDS-RD-SERVER `
             -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local

Add-RDServer -Server RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
             -Role RDS-Licensing `
             -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local

Add-RDServer -Server RDS-WEB-01.SeromIT.local `
             -Role RDS-Gateway `
             -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
             -GatewayExternalFqdn RDS-GW.SeromIT.com

Once these commands are run, the role deployment is finished:

Now we can configure the certificates.

Certificate configuration

To configure each certificate, I use again PowerShell. Remember, I have store both certificates in PFX in C:\temp\RDS of my broker server.

$Password = Read-Host -AsSecureString
$Password = Read-Host -AsSecureString
Set-RDCertificate -Role RDGateway `
                  -ImportPath C:\temp\RDS\wildcard_SeromIT_com.pfx `
                  -Password $Password `
                  -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
                  -Force

Set-RDCertificate -Role RDWebAccess `
                  -ImportPath C:\temp\RDS\wildcard_SeromIT_com.pfx `
                  -Password $Password `
                  -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
                  -Force

Set-RDCertificate -Role RDPublishing `
                  -ImportPath C:\temp\RDS\Broker.pfx `
                  -Password $Password `
                  -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
                  -Force

Set-RDCertificate -Role RDRedirector `
                  -ImportPath C:\temp\RDS\Broker.pfx `
                  -Password $Password `
                  -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local `
                  -Force

Once these commands are executed, the certificate are installed for each role:

Collection creation

Now I create a collection to add resources inside the RD Web Access portal:

New-RDSessionCollection -CollectionName Desktop `
                        -CollectionDescription "Desktop Publication" `
                        -SessionHost RDS-DKP-01.SeromIT.local `
                        -ConnectionBroker RDS-BRK-01.SeromIT.local

Then from Server Manager, you can configure settings of this collection:

Enable HTML 5 Remote Desktop client

In this lab, I don’t want to use the legacy portal. I’d like to use the super cool new HTML5 RD client. To enable this client, I connect to the server hosting RD Web Access role and I run the following cmdlet:

Install-Module -Name PowerShellGet -Force -Confirm:$False

After, close and open again a PowerShell window. Then execute this command:

Install-Module -Name RDWebClientManagement -Confirm:$False

Then copy the RD Broker certificate in cer format into the RD Web Access server and run the following cmdlets:

Import-RDWebClientBrokerCert c:\temp\broker.cer

Install-RDWebClientPackage
Publish-RDWebClientPackage -Type Production -Latest

Now you can connect to the RD Web client by using the following URL: https:///RDWeb/WebClient/Index.html. In my example, I connect to https://apps.SeromIT.com/RDWeb/WebClient/Index.html.

Conclusion

I like the RD Web client for several reasons. First, you can connect to a RDS session from a HTML5 ready web browser. You don’t need anymore a compatible RD client and you can connect from several devices such as Mac, a Linux device or maybe a tablet or smartphone. Secondly, the HTML5 client doesn’t require settings for SSO like we did with the legacy portal. The deployment is easier as before. And finally I found this client more user friendly than the legacy portal. The only thing missing is the ability to enable the HTML5 client by a single click or PowerShell cmdlet, or to enable it by default.

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Create a custom SUU to update Dell firmware https://www.tech-coffee.net/create-a-custom-suu-to-update-dell-firmware/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/create-a-custom-suu-to-update-dell-firmware/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:23:07 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=6436 Dell provides a smart utility to update firmware and drivers in their servers. This utility is called Server Update Utility or shortly: SUU. SUU is an ISO that holds all drivers and firmware for all supported hardware. When you use SUU in a Windows Server, it detects hardware, firmware’s versions and driver’s versions. Then SUU ...

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Dell provides a smart utility to update firmware and drivers in their servers. This utility is called Server Update Utility or shortly: SUU. SUU is an ISO that holds all drivers and firmware for all supported hardware. When you use SUU in a Windows Server, it detects hardware, firmware’s versions and driver’s versions. Then SUU asks you if you wish to upgrade or not the components. When I deploy hyperconverged solution with script such as Storage Spaces Direct, it helps me to automate the deployment. However, because SUU contains a lot of firmware and drivers, the ISO is really huge (almost 8GB). Thanks to Dell Repository Manager, you can create your own SUU based on the hardware you need to upgrade. It results in a lightweight SUU and reduce the time of upgrade because you don’t need anymore to copy 8GB. In this topic, we’ll see how to create a custom SUU.

Dell Repository Manager

To follow this topic, you need to install Dell Repository Manager. The installation is pretty easy: Next, Next, Install. This application enables you to connect to an online repository to download drivers and firmware and to create custom bundles. Dell Repository Manager is able to connect to an iDrac to detect the hardware. You can also choose the server reference from a list. When you open for the first time Dell Repository Manager, you can only add a repository.

Then provide a name to your repository and choose Enterprise Server Catalog. Next I choose the repository type called Integration and I select iDrac.

Specify the IP address of the iDrac and the credentials.

Then your server is detected (the service tag as well).

Now that the repository is added, you should get two bundles: one for Linux and the other one for Windows. I select the Windows bundle and I click on Export.

Create the custom SUU

Once you have clicked on export, select SUU ISO. If you use Dell Repository Manager for the first time, the application should warn you that plugins are required. Just install plugins to be able to export as SUU ISO. Select SUU ISO and specify a location. Click on Export to start the process.

If you click on Repository Manager (in the top of application), you can select Jobs. From this view, you are able to monitor the job status.

When the export process is finished, you should the SUU ISO.

Now that the SUU ISO is created, you can copy it to the server you want to upgrade. When you mount the ISO on a Windows Server, you can run SUU.cmd -e and SUU will take care to upgrade your drivers and firmware itself.

Conclusion

When you have dozens of servers, the server upgrade process can be a pain and take a lot of time. SUU helps to automate the firmware upgrade but the full ISO can take a long time to copy past because of its size. Thanks to Dell Repository Manager, you can create a custom SUU with just enough firmware and drivers for your systems. It’s free, enjoy ūüôā

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Next gen Microsoft management tool: Honolulu https://www.tech-coffee.net/next-gen-microsoft-management-tool-honolulu/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/next-gen-microsoft-management-tool-honolulu/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 06:10:47 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=5791 Since the beginning of the year, Microsoft is working on a new management tool based on modern web languages such as HTML5, Angular and so on. This tool is called Honolulu. Honolulu is a user-friendly web interface that enables to manage Windows Server, Failover Clustering and Hyperconverged cluster. Currently, to manage hyperconverged cluster, Honolulu requires ...

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Since the beginning of the year, Microsoft is working on a new management tool based on modern web languages such as HTML5, Angular and so on. This tool is called Honolulu. Honolulu is a user-friendly web interface that enables to manage Windows Server, Failover Clustering and Hyperconverged cluster. Currently, to manage hyperconverged cluster, Honolulu requires Semi-Annual Windows Server release.

Honolulu is currently in public preview release which means that the product is under construction :). Honolulu is built in a modular way where you can add or remove extensions. Each management feature is included in an extension that you can add or remove. Microsoft expects later that vendors develop third party extensions. To be honest with you, this is the set of tools I’m waiting for a while ago. Microsoft was in late in management tools compared to other companies such as VMware. I hope that Honolulu will close the gap with VMware vCenter and Nutanix Prism.

Microsoft listens customers and feedback to improve this product. So you can download the product here and report feedback in this user voice.

In this topic, we will see an overview of Honolulu. I’ll dedicate a topic about Honolulu and Microsoft hyperconverged solution because Honolulu requires Windows Server 2016 RS3 release (in Semi-Annual Channel) to work with and I have not yet upgraded my lab.

Getting started with Honolulu

In the below screenshot, you can see Honolulu home page. You get all your connections (and the type) and you can add more of them.

By clicking on arrow next to Project Honolulu, you can filter the connection type on Server Manager, Failover Cluster Manager and Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager.

By clicking on the wheel (top right), you can access to extension manager and you get installed extensions. For example you have extensions for firewall management, Hyper-V, failover clustering and so on. You can remove extensions you don’t want.

Sever Manager

As you have seen before, you can manage a single server from Honolulu. I will not show you all management tools but just an overview of Honolulu. By adding and connecting to a server, you get the following dashboard. In this dashboard you can retrieve real-time metrics (CPU, memory and network) and information, you can restart or shutdown the system or edit RDP access and environment variables. For the moment you can’t resize columns and tables and I think in near future that Microsoft will add this feature.

An interesting module is the Events. In this pane, you get the same thing as this good old Event Viewer. You can retrieve all the events of your system and you can filter them. Maybe a checkbox enabling real-time events could be interesting :).

The devices pane is also available. In a single view, you have all hardware installed in the system. If Microsoft adds the ability to install drivers from there, Honolulu can replace DevCon for Core servers.

You can also browse the system files and manage file and folders.

Another pane enables to manage the network adapters as you can see below. For the moment this pane is limited because it doesn’t allow to manage advanced feature such as RDMA, RSS, VMMQ and so on.

You can also add or remove roles and features from Honolulu. It is really cool that you can manage this from a Web service.

If you use Hyper-V, you can manage VMs from Honoulu. The dashboard also is really nice because there is counters about VMs and last events.

Another super cool feature is the ability to manage updates from Honolulu. I hope Microsoft will add WSUS configuration from this pane with some scheduling.

Failover Cluster management

Honolulu enables also to manage failover cluster. You can add a failover cluster connection from Honolulu home page. Just click on Add.

Then specify the cluster name. Honolulu asks if you want to add also the servers member of the cluster.

One it is added, you can select it and you get this dashboard. You get cluster core ressource states, and some information about the cluster such as the number of roles, networks and disks.

By clicking on disks, you can get a list of Cluster Shared Volumes in the cluster and information about them.

If your cluster hosts Hyper-V VMs (not in hyperconverged way), you can manage VMs from there. You get the same pane than in Honolulu server manager. The VMs and related metrics are shown and you can create or delete virtual machines. A limited set of option is currently available.

You can also get the vSwitches deployed in each node. It’s pitty that Switch Embedded Teaming is not yet supported but I think the support will be added later.

Hyperconverged cluster management

As I said earlier, hyperconverged cluster is supported but only for Windows Server Semi-Annual channel (for the moment). I’ll dedicate a topic about Honolulu and hyperconverged cluster once I’ll upgrade my lab.

Update Honolulu

When a Honolulu update is released, you get notified by Update Available mention. Currently, the update process is not really user-friendly because when you click on Update Available, an executable is downloaded and you have to run again the Honolulu installation (specify installation path, certificate thumbprint etc.). I hope in the future that the update process will be a self-update.

When I have downloaded the executable, I checked the package size and it is amazing: only 31MB.

Conclusion

Finally, they did it! A true modern management tool. I try for Microsoft this tool for 3 months and I can say you that developers work really quickly and they make a great job. Features are added quickly and Microsoft listens customers. I recommend you to post in the user voice the features you want. The tool is currently not perfect, some features are missing but Honolulu is still in preview release ! Microsoft is in the right direction with Honolulu and I hope this tool will be massively used. I hope also that Honolulu will help to install more Windows Server in Core edition, especially for Hyper-V and storage server.

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Windows Server 2016 servicing model https://www.tech-coffee.net/windows-server-2016-servicing-model/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/windows-server-2016-servicing-model/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:49:26 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=4685 Recently Microsoft announced that the official launch for Windows Server 2016 should be at the Ignite conference this 26 to 30 September. Windows Server 2016 will be available in three different editions and in two different servicing model depending on installation option. These servicing models are known as Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) and Current ...

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Recently Microsoft announced that the official launch for Windows Server 2016 should be at the Ignite conference this 26 to 30 September. Windows Server 2016 will be available in three different editions and in two different servicing model depending on installation option. These servicing models are known as Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB). So the Technical Preview 5 is the final preview and Microsoft works to correct bugs and issues for the RTM.

Windows Server 2016 editions

Windows Server 2016 will be available in three different editions:

  • Datacenter: Provides all new features as Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica, Software-Defined Networking Stack, shield Virtual Machines and so on. Thanks to this edition you can run unlimited virtualization workloads.
  • Standard: This edition provides limited features (no Storage Spaces Direct for example) and limited virtualization. If you don’t need to build a server based on storage or Hyper-V, this edition is for you.
  • Business Essential: this edition is designed for small business under 50 users.

Below you can find the difference between Datacenter and Standard Edition and the pricing for 16 Cores. Microsoft has changed the license model to Core model. For each 2 physical cores, you have to buy a license pack. To use Windows Server 2016, you have to buy at least 8 license packs that cover 16 physical cores.

Feature Differentiation: Datacenter and Standard Editions
Feature

Datacenter Edition

Standard Edition

Core functionality of Windows Server

OSEs / Hyper-V Containers

Unlimited

2

Windows Server containers

Unlimited

Unlimited

Host Guardian Service

Nano Server

Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica

Shielded Virtual Machines

Networking stack

Core-based pricing (for 16 cores)

$6,155

$882

Microsoft also has announced that to use a Nano Server in production, you must subscribe to Software Assurance.

Windows Server 2016 Servicing model

It is important to understand the two servicing model available depending on the installation option. The Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) is the same model that we have had so far. When Microsoft released Windows Server, they provided 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support. The provided features were frozen in the time until the next Windows Server release. This is what LTSB provides.

Since Windows 10, Microsoft has developed a new servicing model called Current Branch (CB). Regularly (almost every 4-6 months) Microsoft provide servicing updates to Windows 10 to bring new functionalities and “force” to upgrade the build version. For companies, build upgrade imposed by CB is too recurrent so they need more time. Administrator can choose the Current Branch for Business to postpone the build upgrade for an additional time of 4 to 6 months. This is what is the Current Branch for Business (CBB).

The servicing model depends on the installation option:

Installation Option

LTSB servicing model

CBB servicing model

Server with Desktop Experience

Yes

No

Server Core

Yes

No

Nano Server

No

Yes

The server with Desktop Experience is Windows Server 2016 with the GUI deployed and Server Core is Windows Server 2016 without the GUI installed. As you can see in the above table, these installation options support only LTSB servicing model. However, Nano Server can be only in the CBB servicing model.

Before this announce, I have spent a lot of time on Nano Server to understand and to explain how to deploy Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct node with this kind of installation option. In my opinion CBB is not a cool servicing model for this usage and I think I will not recommend Nano Server for this kind of deployment. It’s a shame because Nano Server brings a lot of advantages for Hyperconverged node. I’m a little disappointed by this news.

It is out of the scope of this topic, but System Center 2016 should be officially launched at the Ignite conference as Windows Server 2016.

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Prepare a VHDX image of Nano Server https://www.tech-coffee.net/prepare-a-vhdx-image-of-nano-server/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/prepare-a-vhdx-image-of-nano-server/#respond Fri, 08 May 2015 15:22:31 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=3463 Microsoft has recently announced a new version of Windows Server 2016 called Nano Server. The main advantage of this Windows Server version is the small footprint. For that, Microsoft has removed the Graphical User Interface stack, 32-bit support, local logins or Remote Desktop support. Nano Server can be managed only remotely by using PowerShell, WMI ...

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Microsoft has recently announced a new version of Windows Server 2016 called Nano Server. The main advantage of this Windows Server version is the small footprint. For that, Microsoft has removed the Graphical User Interface stack, 32-bit support, local logins or Remote Desktop support. Nano Server can be managed only remotely by using PowerShell, WMI or WinRM. Nano Server has been designed for two kinds of usage:

  • Cloud infrastructure components as Hyper-V or Scale-Out File Server¬†;
  • Cloud apps built on runtime as Java, .Net and so on. Nano Server supports container through Hyper-V (and maybe via Docker later).

The Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 has been released this week and brings the Nano Server through a WIM file. This kind of file is great to deploy by using DHCP/WDS but I wanted to build a VHDX image to deploy Virtual Machines without using PXE. This Microsoft guide describes how to build the VHDX file from the WIM included in the Windows Server Technical Preview 2 ISO.

Preparation

First, we have to prepare our environment to do the job. So download the Windows Server TC2 ISO here. While the ISO is downloading, I create some folders by using this script (don’t forget to change the $ParentFolder variable):

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\Dism")
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\VHDX")
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\Packages")
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\WIM")

 

My Work Folder looks like this:

Next I have downloaded the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 script from this URL. I’ve downloaded this script in the $ParentFolder directory. Once your Windows Server TC2 ISO is downloaded, you can mount it and run the below script. This script will copy the WIM file and the package locally. Next, all files related to Dism are copied in the Dism folder. To finish it will make a VHDX image from the WIM file.

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
$ISOPath = "C:\Temp\10074.0.150424-1350.fbl_impressive_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.ISO"
Mount-DiskImage $ISOPath
$DriveLetter = (Get-DiskImage $ISOPath | Get-Volume).DriveLetter
$ISONanoPath = $DriveLetter + ":\NanoServer"
$ISOSourcePath = $DriveLetter + ":\Sources"
Copy-Item -Path $($ISONanoPath + "\NanoServer.wim") -Destination $($ParentFolder + "\WIM")
Copy-Item -Path $($ISONanoPath + "\Packages\*") -Destination $($ParentFolder + "\Packages") -Recurse
Copy-Item -Path $($ISOSourcePath + "\api*downlevel*.dll") -Destination $($ParentFolder + "\Dism")
Copy-Item -Path $($ISOSourcePath + "\*dism*") -Destination $($ParentFolder + "\Dism")
Copy-Item -Path $($ISOSourcePath + "\*provider*") -Destination $($ParentFolder + "\Dism")
Dismount-DiskImage $ISOPath
Set-Location $ParentFolder
Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -SourcePath $($ParentFolder + "\WIM\NanoServer.wim") `
                         -VHD $($ParentFolder + "\VHDX\NanoServer.vhdx") `
                         -VHDFormat VHDX `
                         -Edition 1 `
                         -VHDPartitionStyle GPT
 


Add packages to the VHDX image

Previously, we have copied some packages in our work folder. Below you have the description of each package.

Role or feature Package file
Hyper-V role Microsoft-NanoServer-Compute-Package.cab
Failover Clustering Microsoft-NanoServer-FailoverCluster-Package.cab
Drivers for hosting Nano Server as a virtual machine Microsoft-NanoServer-Guest-Package.cab
Basic drivers for a variety of network adapters and storage controllers Microsoft-NanoServer-OEM-Drivers-Package.cab
File Server role and other storage components Microsoft-NanoServer-Storage-Package.cab

Now it’s time to add this package to the NanoServer.vhdx image. For that the command dism will be used. The below script mount the image, add the packages and dismount the vhdx and commit the modification.

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
Set-Location $ParentFolder
dism\dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:$($ParentFolder + "\VHDX\NanoServer.vhdx") /index:1 /MountDir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-Compute-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\en-us\Microsoft-NanoServer-Compute-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")

dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-OEM-Drivers-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\en-us\Microsoft-NanoServer-OEM-Drivers-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")

dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-FailoverCluster-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\en-us\Microsoft-NanoServer-FailoverCluster-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")

dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-Guest-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\en-us\Microsoft-NanoServer-Guest-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")

dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-Storage-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /add-Package /PackagePath:$($ParentFolder + "\packages\en-us\Microsoft-NanoServer-Storage-Package.cab") /Image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")

dism\dism /Unmount-Image /Mountdir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /commit


Configure Nano Server with a response file

It is possible to use a unattend.xml file to auto configure some settings in the server as the hostname, the time zone and so on. First, I prepare the machine to join my Active Directory Domain. So I run the below script:

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
djoin.exe /provision /domain home.net /machine NanoServer01 /savefile $($ParentFolder + "\odjblob")

When this script is finished, a new computer account is created in Active Directory. I can move the object to apply a GPO and so manage Firewall for example J

Next I open the odjblob file and I copy the content. It looks like this:

ARAIAMzMzMwwAwAAAAAAAAAAAgABAAAAAQAAAAQAAgABAAAAAQAAAAgDAAAIAAIACAMAAAEQC ADMzMzM+AIAAAAAAADwZEKYcKZCmDCeQpigHUKYCAAKAGB6QpgQABIAcKtCmBAAEgCwp0KYPSW gj2mer06GzNIgAe4zfbClQpjA/kGYcKNCmAEAAAA9JaCPaZ6vTobM0iAB7jN9MKJCmLCdQpj88QDgsJ5Cm LCrQpgAAAAACQAAAAAAAAAJAAAAaABvAG0AZQAuAG4AZQB0AAAAAAANAAAAAAAAAA0AAABOAGE AbgBvAFMAZQByAHYAZQByADAAMQAAAAAAeQAAAAAAAAB5AAAAUwBfADUALgBdACAAZwAnAEYAL QB0AFQAOgAsADcAKgAlAEYANAAnADUAJwBPADgAdgBZACYAWAAqADoAJQAuAC4APAB3AEQAaABs AF4APwBEAGEAJQBIAHMAbgB5AEcAIQBVAEUATQBxACcATgByACEAMABbADsAUgA6AD8ARAAuAF8 AVwA5ACgAOABGADIAYAAkADYAdQA+AHIAdwAoACEAdQBeAEQANABuAFAAdwBaACEATQA6AE0AVg BOAGQAUwBkACcAYQBeACAAOABfAGYAIABhADIAeQA3AEcATQA0AFgAVgBFAFwAQwBrAHoAAAAAA AUAAAAAAAAABAAAAEgATwBNAEUACQAAAAAAAAAIAAAAaABvAG0AZQAuAG4AZQB0AAkAAAAAAAA ACAAAAGgAbwBtAGUALgBuAGUAdAAEAAAAAQQAAAAAAAUVAAAAV4rrGerLNjixfdBQEwAAAAAAAAAT AAAAXABcAFYATQBBAEQAUwAwADIALgBoAG8AbQBlAC4AbgBlAHQAAAAAAAwAAAAAAAAADAAAAFw AXAAxADAALgAxADAALgAwAC4ANAAAAAkAAAAAAAAACQAAAGgAbwBtAGUALgBuAGUAdAAAAAAAC QAAAAAAAAAJAAAAaABvAG0AZQAuAG4AZQB0AAAAAAAJAAAAAAAAAAkAAABUAG8AdQBsAG8AdQB zAGUAAAAAAAkAAAAAAAAACQAAAFQAbwB1AGwAbwB1AHMAZQAAAAAAAAAAAA==

Then I prepare my unattend.xml file and I copy it in my $ParentFolder (don’t forget to copy the content of the odjblob file):

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <settings pass="offlineServicing">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
            <OfflineIdentification>
                <Provisioning>
                    <AccountData>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</AccountData>
                </Provisioning>
            </OfflineIdentification>
        </component>
    </settings>

    <settings pass="oobeSystem">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
            <UserAccounts>
                <AdministratorPassword>
                    <Value>Password</Value>
                    <PlainText>true</PlainText>
                </AdministratorPassword>
            </UserAccounts>
            <TimeZone>Romance Standard Time</TimeZone>
        </component>
    </settings>

    <settings pass="specialize">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
            <RegisteredOwner>Romain Serre</RegisteredOwner>
            <RegisteredOrganization>Tech-Coffee</RegisteredOrganization>
        </component>
    </settings>
</unattend>

To finish I integrate this unattend.xml file into my NanoServer.vhdx image by using this script:

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
Set-Location $ParentFolder
dism\dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:$($ParentFolder + "\VHDX\NanoServer.vhdx") /index:1 /MountDir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /image: $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /Apply-Unattend:$($ParentFolder + "\unattend.xml")
New-Item -Type Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir\windows\panther")
copy $($ParentFolder + "\unattend.xml") $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir\windows\panther")
dism\dism /Unmount-Image /Mountdir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /commit
 

Run commands on the first boot

It is possible to run some commands on the first boot of the Nano Server. It is very simple: just past all commands that you need in a SetupComplete.cmd file and next just copy it to the C:\Windows\Setup\Scripts folder of the image. Below you can find my SetupComplete.cmd:

netsh advfirewall set all state off
netsh interface ip set address "Ethernet" static 10.10.0.200 255.255.255.0 10.10.0.1
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver "Ethernet" address=10.10.0.5 index=1
ipconfig

This script disables the firewall (it’s for a lab J) and set the IP configuration on an Ethernet network interface. To finish the ipconfig is run to show me the good configuration of the Ethernet interface. Next I paste this file in $ParentFolder directory. To finish I run this script:

$ParentFolder = "c:\temp\NanoPrep"
Set-Location $ParentFolder
dism\dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:$($ParentFolder + "\VHDX\NanoServer.vhdx") /index:1 /MountDir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
New-Item -Type Directory -Path $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir\windows\Setup\Scripts")
Copy-Item $($ParentFolder + "\SetupComplete.cmd") $($ParentFolder + "\MountDir\windows\Setup\Scripts")
dism\dism /Unmount-Image /Mountdir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /commit

Add drivers to the image

If your hardware is not recognized and you need specific drivers, you can use the below script to add drivers to the NanoServer.vhdx. Just set the $MyDriversPath variable by the path where are located your drivers.

dism\dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:$($ParentFolder + "\VHDX\NanoServer.vhdx") /index:1 /MountDir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir")
dism\dism /Add-Driver /image:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /driver: $MyDriversPath
dism\dism /Unmount-Image /Mountdir:$($ParentFolder + "\MountDir") /commit

Deploy NanoServer Virtual Machine

So I have created a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V and I have selected the NanoServer.vhdx disk.

Once the machine is deployed, just specify enter-pssesion ‚ÄďComputerName NanoServer01

As you can see above, we are connected to the NanoServer remotely. You can also connect to the server by using Windows Explorer:

And you can use MMC as Event Viewer remotely:

Now that we have access to the server remotely, we can create cluster, configure Hyper-V and so on. But don’t expect to manage the server as before. There is no console installed locally and there is no local logins supportJ.

To finish, let’s talk about the footprint. As you can see below, the footprint of the Nano Server is really small. The VHDX file size is only 988 MB!


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Enable Data Deduplication on VMM Library https://www.tech-coffee.net/enable-data-deduplication-vmm-library/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/enable-data-deduplication-vmm-library/#respond Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:16:44 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=3038 Data Deduplication is a storage method that eliminates redundant data to free storage space. The redundant data are replaced by a pointer to the data. So in this topic I apply this method on my VMM Library that takes a lot of disk space on my lab storage (ISO, VHDX and so on). Requirements for ...

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Data Deduplication is a storage method that eliminates redundant data to free storage space. The redundant data are replaced by a pointer to the data. So in this topic I apply this method on my VMM Library that takes a lot of disk space on my lab storage (ISO, VHDX and so on).

Requirements for Data Deduplication

The below information are taken from this MSDN topic.

Data deduplication is supported only on the following:

  • Windows Server operating systems beginning with Windows Server¬†2012
  • NTFS data volumes
  • Cluster shared volume file system (CSVFS) supporting virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads beginning with Windows Server¬†2012¬†R2

Deduplication is not supported on:

  • System or boot volumes
  • Remote mapped or remote mounted drives
  • Cluster shared volume file system (CSVFS) for non-VDI workloads or any workloads on Windows Server¬†2012
  • Files approaching or larger than 1 TB in size.
  • Volumes approaching or larger than 64 TB in size

Deduplication skips over the following files:

  • System-state files
  • Encrypted files
  • Files with extended attributes
  • Files whose size is less than 32 KB
  • Reparse points (that are not data deduplication reparse points)

Install Data Deduplication service role

To install the Data Deduplication service role, run as Administrator a PowerShell console and execute the below command:

Add-WindowsFeature -name FS-Data Deduplication

 

Enable the Data Deduplication

On my VMM library servers, I have a D: volume where I store ISO, VHDX and so on. So I will enable the Data Deduplication on this volume.

To enable it, open the Server Manager and navigate to File Servers and Volumes. Right click on the volume where you want to enable the Data Deduplication and select Configure Data Deduplication.

Next select Data Deduplication for General purpose file server. Then you can choose to exclude files from the deduplication process. Next select Set Deduplication Schedule.

Next I enable background optimization to run Data Deduplication at low priority. However I enable also the throughput optimization to run the deduplication at normal priority on schedule.

To enable and schedule the Data Deduplication as above, you can run the below PowerShell script.

enable-dedupVolume "D:"
New-DedupSchedule
			-Name "ThroughputOptimization" `
                        -Type Optimization `
                        -DurationHours 6 `
                        -days Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun `
                        -Start 12:00am

Run the Data Deduplication process

With the above configuration the Data Deduplication is running at low priority. To run at normal priority the deduplication process, you can wait the schedule or you can run the below command:

start-dedupjob D:\ -Type Optimization

You can get the Deduplication status with this command:

Get-DedupStatus

 

You can also get this report from the Server Manager.

Compact the VHDX

If you use a Dynamic VHDX and you want to save space onto the VHDX storage, you can compact the virtual hard disk. However to optimize the VHDX, the related VM must be shutdown. So I run this small script to stop the VM, compact the disk and start again the VM.

$VMName      = "VMFLS02"
$VHDName     = "VMFLS02-LIB"
$VMObj = Get-VM $VMName
Write-Host "Stopping $VMName virtual machine"
Stop-VM $VMObj
$VHDX = Get-VHD -VMID $VMObj.id | Where-Object {$_.Path -like "*$VHDName*"}
if ($VHDX.VHDType -notmatch "Dynamic"){
    Write-Host "Your VHDX type is not dynamic. Can't optimize disk"
    Exit
    }
Else{
    Write-Host "Optimizing $(($VHDX.Path))..."
    Optimize-VHD $VHDX.Path -Mode Full
    }
Write-Host "Starting $VMName virtual machine"
start-VM $VMObj

Before running the above script, the VHDX size was 56,8 GB.

After the VHDX compacting, the disk usage is 14GB. My lab storage says “Thank you :)”.


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Understand Microsoft licensing for Virtual Environments by Altaro https://www.tech-coffee.net/understand-microsoft-licensing-virtual-environments-altaro/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/understand-microsoft-licensing-virtual-environments-altaro/#respond Fri, 28 Nov 2014 20:26:44 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=2910 Altaro Software has released a new eBook to understand the Microsoft licensing for Virtual Environments. This eBook is really interresting because the connection between hardware and licensing is clearly explained. You can download the eBook¬†‚ÄúLicensing Microsoft Server in a Virtual Environment‚ÄĚ here: Moreover¬†Altaro has planned a Webinar about Microsoft Licensing on December, 4th 2014 with ...

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Altaro Software has released a new eBook to understand the Microsoft licensing for Virtual Environments. This eBook is really interresting because the connection between hardware and licensing is clearly explained.

You can download the eBook¬†‚ÄúLicensing Microsoft Server in a Virtual Environment‚ÄĚ here:

download_ebook_cta

Moreover Altaro has planned a Webinar about Microsoft Licensing on December, 4th 2014 with Thomas Maurer and Andrew Syrewicze. You can sign up for the webinar here:

join-licensing-webinar-button

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Manage Windows Server 2012 Core environment https://www.tech-coffee.net/manage-windows-server-2012-core-environment/ https://www.tech-coffee.net/manage-windows-server-2012-core-environment/#respond Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:06:56 +0000 https://www.tech-coffee.net/?p=69 Since a long time, Windows Server are based on graphical interface until Windows Server 2008R2. This last operating system can be installed in Core mode that means without graphical interface. But Core mode of Windows Server 2008R2 was limited because lot of software were not supported. In the same way, it is also possible to ...

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Since a long time, Windows Server are based on graphical interface until Windows Server 2008R2. This last operating system can be installed in Core mode that means without graphical interface. But Core mode of Windows Server 2008R2 was limited because lot of software were not supported.

In the same way, it is also possible to install Windows Server 2012 Core but more software are supported. But the big change is that the graphical interface is a feature now. As other Windows Server feature, it can be installed and uninstall as wanted. That mean Windows Server 2012 provides a way to add or remove the graphical interface when it is needed.

Windows Server Core mode provides several advantages:

  • The surface attacks is reduced
  • Less downtime because less Microsoft Update to install (and making reboot)
  • Less consumption of resources. Useful on virtualize environment for better consolidation
  • Administrators no longer consider servers as workstations (wallpaper, binaries on desktop etc.) You know what I mean J

The Windows management is not easy without graphical interface for anyone. The Core mode requires Powershell and batch skills. This is why Windows Server 2012 provides a new Server Manager. This new console enables to install or remove remotely roles and feature, create or delete share or manage services. Moreover, classical MMC are present.

Figure 1: Server Manager

Servers installation

To test above presented features, I’m going to create three servers and use an already pre-created for Active Directory (VMADS01). All servers will be installed on Windows Server 2012 Datacenter. Below the three servers that I will create:

  • VMFLS01¬†: File server installed in Core mode
  • VMSQL01¬†: MS SQL Server that will be installed with graphical interface and remove after complete installation
  • VMTLS01¬†: Management server installed with graphical interface

To run my test, all servers are hosted on Hyper-V R3 on Windows 8 pro

Windows Server 2012 Core installation

Figure 2: Language selection

Figure 3: Yes I want install now my server J

Figure 4: Choose the Windows Server edition installation

For VMSQL01 and VMTLS01, I choose Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Evaluation (Server with a GUI) while VMFLS01 is installed on Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Evaluation (Server Core Installation).

Figure 5: License terms

Figure 6: Custom install

Figure 7: I use Drive 0 and here we go!

Once installation is finished, an administrator password is asked.

VMFLS01 configuration

This server has no graphical interface so no way to make click click to configure server. However a tool exists to simplify first configuration: sconfig.exe.

Figure 8: sconfig

I set server Network (Gateway, IP address etc.), his name and I join the server to mylab.com domain.

Figure 9: Set server name

Figure 10: IP configuration

Figure 11: join mylab.com domain

VMSQL01 and VMTLS01 configuration

This server will be configured as usual. With mouse I configure IP, server name, Remote access and the server is added to mylab.com domain.

Figure 12: IP configuration

Delete graphical interface on VMSQL01

After I have installed MS SQL Server and process to all configuration of server, it’s time to delete graphical interface. To delete this graphical interface, just open Server Manager and select Remove roles and features.

Figure 13: Tab Manage of Server Manager

When Remove features wizard appears, just uncheck User Interfaces and Infrastructure.

Figure 14: Remove features wizard

User Interfaces and Infrastructure is composed of three features

  • Graphical Management Tools And Infrastructure¬†: This is Server Manager part.
  • Desktop Experience¬†: Feature Windows 8 such as theme, Windows Store etc.
  • Server Graphical Shell¬†: Graphical inteface (Internet Explorer, Explorer.exe etc.)

When server will be rebooted, itwill be in same state that VMFLS01 means without graphical interface.

Firewall setting for remote administration

I firewall configuration is needed to authorize some protocol for remote administration such as remote event log management. This is why I have created a GPO to apply some rules to all my servers.

Figure 15: FIrewall rules

Thanks to these rules, I can manage event logs remotely and I can connect with RDP.

Server Manager using for remote management

My central Server Manager is installed on VMTLS01. So I connect to VMTLS01 and open Server Manager. To manage remote server I have to add others servers. Just click on Manage Tab (Figure 13) and click on Add Server. Search servers with Active Directory and add them.

Figure 16: Add servers to manage

To see previously servers added, click on All servers on the left of Server Manager. A warning occurs on each server. Performance counters are not started and Server Manager can’t run servers graphical state (CPU, RAM etc.)

So right click on each server and start performance counters.

Figure 17: Performance counters not started warning

Figure 18: Start Performance counters

Server Manager window is composed of three parts:

  • On the left: Navigation menu between differents views of services and servers.
  • Intitle¬†: Navigation button and tab management
  • Main part¬†: show information

030614_2205_ManageWindo20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 19: Server Manager

On the left part, servers hosting same services are gathered (DHCP, IIS, WDS etc).

 

Event logs and services management

En allant sur la partie Dashboard depuis le menu de navigation il est possible d’avoir un √©tat des services d’un seul coup d’Ňďil¬†:

Figure 20: Services state

In this view, we can see events related to services or machine performances (CPU used at 100% for example). When clicking on an event type such as services, more information are detailed:

Figure 21: Event detail

Here, we can see that DHCP service is stopped. Just right click on event and click on start to restart DHCP service.

To display events related to servers, open All servers on navigation menu:

Pour avoir les événements liés aux serveurs, il faut aller dans All Servers depuis le menu de navigation :

Figure 22: Servers events

In this view, event logs Application, Security and System are shown. Filter enables to search in these events. When select all servers, all events of these servers are shown. So if two servers have issues in same time, it is simpler to find common cause.

Under event logs management, there is the services management:

Figure 23: Services management

Via Server Manager, it is possible to

  • Stop service
  • Start service
  • Restart service
  • Pause/resume service

     

Manage roles remotely

As previous Windows Server edition, MMC administrative consoles such as Active Directory, DNS or WSUS can be installed on remote server. Windows Server 2012 is not an exception and these administrative consoles can be installed via Remote Server Administration Tools feature.

Once this feature installed, MMC can be launched with right click on manage servers via Server Manager. Below an example with Domain Controller:

Figure 24: Start MMC on Domain Controller

Right click on VMADS01 show a contextual menu to open administrative consoles. Other features related to Active Directory are shown such as netdom, NTDSutil etc.

 

Windows Powershell enables to open remote Powershell session via WinRM :

Figure 25: Remote Powershell session

Add / Remove roles and features remotely

The new Server Manager enables to add or remove roles and features remotely. Just click on Manage tab and click on Add / Remove roles and features. Below I’m going to perform a IIS server installation on VMFLS01 from VMTLS01:

Figure 26: Add roles and features wizard welcome screen

Figure 27: Choose Role-base or feature-based installation

Figure 28: Choose VMFLS01

I want to install IIS server on VMFLS01. It is also possible to choose a virtual hard disk to install role on VHD(x) image. Windows Server 2012 must be installed on this image and be offline.

Figure 29: Add Web Server (IIS) role

Figure 30: Click next on select features wizard

Figure 31: Click next on Web Server role welcome screen

Figure 32: Choose role services

Figure 33: Confirm installation

Figure 34: Web server installation on progress

The Web Server IIS role is installed on VMFLS01 remotely. The same thing is possible to add every role as needed or to delete feature.

Windows share management

N.B : To be able to benefit every features presented below (Quotas for example), File Server Resource Manager must be installed.

Another features very useful of Server Manager is share management remotely. Thanks to share view, all infrastructure share can be shown. Just click on File and Storage Service -> Share from navigation menu :

Figure 35: Shares view

On the above example, all servers shares are displayed. On this view, it is possible to create share remotely. Just click on TASKS and select New Share.

Old Windows Server support

To manage old Windows Server edition from Server Manager, two components are needed:

  • .NET Framework 4.0
  • Windows Management Framework¬†3.0

For further details : http://technet.microsoft.com/fr-fr/library/hh921475.aspx

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