Tuesday, 18 October 2016

What is new in Windows Server-2016

Windows Server 2016 is now available for use, Windows administrators should be excited for a ton of new features coming from Microsoft in the server space, Its release mirrors contemporary information technology trends of containerization and hybrid connectivity with cloud services. Docker-driven containers and Nano Server to software-defined storage and networking improvements, Windows Server 2016 is packed with great new features.

  •          Nano Server
  •          Container support
  •          Hyper-V
  •          Storage
  •          Failover Cluster

Nano Server
Nano Server boasts a 90 percent smaller installation footprint than the Windows Server graphical user interface (GUI) installation option. Beyond just that, these compelling reasons may make you start running Nano for at least some of your Windows Server workloads:Bare-metal OS means far fewer updates and reboots are necessary. Because you have to administratively inject any server roles from outside Nano, the server has a much-reduced attack surface when compared to GUI Windows Server. Nano is so small that it can be ported easily across servers, data centers and physical sites.Nano hosts the most common Windows Server workloads, including Hyper-V host.

Nano is intended to be managed completely remotely. However, Nano does include a minimal local management UI called "Nano Server Recovery Console," shown in the previous screenshot, that allows you to perform initial configuration tasks.

Container support

Containers are the next evolution in virtualization; a container is an isolated place where an application can run without affecting the rest of the system and without the system affecting the application.
Microsoft is working closely with the Docker development team to bring Docker-based containers to Windows Server. Until now, containers have existed almost entirely in the Linux/UNIX open-source world. They allow you to isolate applications and services in an agile, easy-to-administer way. Windows Server 2016 offers two different types of "containerized" Windows Server instances:

Windows Server Container. This container type is intended for low-trust workloads where you don't mind that container instances running on the same server may share some common resources.  Provide application isolation through process and namespace isolation technology. A Windows Server container shares a kernel with the container host and all containers running on the host.

Hyper-V Container. This isn't a Hyper-V host or VM. Instead, its a "super isolated" containerized Windows Server instance that is completely isolated from other containers and potentially from the host server. Hyper-V containers are appropriate for high-trust workloads. Expand on the isolation provided by Windows Server Containers by running each container in a highly optimized virtual machine. In this configuration the kernel of the container host is not shared with the Hyper-V Containers.

Description: Credit: Microsoft


The recent release of Microsoft Windows Server 2016 new capabilities and features coming to the final release of the server OS,  among many new features, includes an improved version of its Hyper-V virtualization technology. the many new features in Windows Server 2016, many IT pros are looking to see new capabilities in Hyper-V

Linux Secure Boot Secure Boot is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification that protects a server's startup environment against the injection of rootkits or other assorted boot-time malware.The problem with Windows Server-based Secure Boot is that your server would blow up (figuratively speaking) if you tried to create a Linux-based Generation 2 Hyper-V VM because the Linux kernel drivers weren't part of the trusted device store. Technically, the VM's UEFI firmware presents a "Failed Secure Boot Verification" error and stops startup. Windows Server and Azure engineering teams seemingly love Linux. Therefore, we can now deploy Linux VMs under Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V with no trouble without having to disable the otherwise stellar Secure Boot feature. Ubuntu 14.04 and later, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and later, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 and later, and Cent OS 7.0 and later are enabled for Secure Boot on hosts that run Windows Server 2016.

Compatible with Connected Standby Hyper-V role is installed on a computer that uses the Always On/Always Connected (AOAC) power model, the Connected Standby power state is now available

Discrete device assignment This feature lets you give a virtual machine direct and exclusive access to some PCIe hardware devices. Using a device in this way bypasses the Hyper-V virtualization stack, which results in faster access

Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory You can now add or remove a network adapter while the virtual machine is running, without incurring downtime. This works for generation 2 virtual machines that run either Windows or Linux operating systems Hyper-V Server has allowed us to add virtual hardware or adjust the allocated RAM to a virtual machine. However, those changes historically required that we first power down the VM. In Windows Server 2016, we can now "hot add" virtual hardware while VMs are online and running. I was able to add an additional virtual network interface card (NIC) to my running Hyper-V virtual machine.

Nested Virtualization This feature lets you use a virtual machine as a Hyper-V host and create virtual machines within that virtualized host. This can be especially useful for development and test environments. This has historically been a "no go" in Windows Server Hyper-V, but we finally have that ability in Windows Server 2016. Nested virtualization makes sense when a business wants to deploy additional Hyper-V hosts and needs to minimize hardware costs.


Storage Spaces Direct

Storage Spaces is a cool Windows Server feature that makes it more affordable for administrators to create redundant and flexible disk storage. Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 extends Storage Spaces to allow failover cluster nodes to use their local storage inside this cluster, avoiding the previous necessity of a shared storage fabric.

Storage Spaces Direct uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Its converged or hyper-converged architecture radically simplifies procurement and deployment, while features like caching, storage tiers, and erasure coding, together with the latest hardware innovation like RDMA networking and NVMe drives, deliver unrivaled efficiency and performance.

Storage Quality of Service (QoS)
You can now use storage quality of service (QoS) to centrally monitor end-to-end storage performance and create management policies using Hyper-V and CSV clusters in Windows Server 2016.

Failover Clustering
Windows Server 2016 includes a number of new features and enhancements for multiple servers that are grouped together into a single fault-tolerant cluster using the Failover Clustering feature.

Cloud Witness
Cloud Witness is a new type of Failover Cluster quorum witness in Windows Server 2016 that leverages Microsoft Azure as the arbitration point. The Cloud Witness, like any other quorum witness, gets a vote and can participate in the quorum calculations. You can configure cloud witness as a quorum witness using the Configure a Cluster Quorum Wizard.

Fault Domains
Enables you to define what fault domain to use with a Storage Spaces Direct cluster. A fault domain is a set of hardware that share a single point of failure, such as a server node, server chassis, or rack.

Workgroup and Multi-domain clusters
In Windows Server 2012 R2 and previous versions, a cluster can only be created between member nodes joined to the same domain. Windows Server 2016 breaks down these barriers and introduces the ability to create a Failover Cluster without Active Directory dependencies. You can now create failover clusters in the following configurations:

Single-domain Clusters. Clusters with all nodes joined to the same domain.
Multi-domain Clusters. Clusters with nodes which are members of different domains.
Workgroup Clusters. Clusters with nodes which are member servers / workgroup (not domain joined).

There are many more features has been introduced with new windows 2016 server other than I explained above.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Create Datacenter and add ESXi host to VMware Vcenter 6.0 using PowerCLI

VMware vSphere PowerCLI is a command-line interface (CLI) tool for automating vSphere and vCloud management. VMware vSphere PowerCLI debuted as the VMware Infrastructure Toolkit, also called the VI Toolkit.
PowerCLI commands are executed in Windows PowerShell by using PowerShell cmdlets. PowerCLI cmdlets are available for VMware High Availability and Distributed Resource Scheduler setup, infrastructure activity reporting, VM ownership alerts and other tasks. 
PowerCLI 6.3 Release1 requires Windows  PowerShell 3.0 and a supported version of .NET Framework. This latest tool version includes the vCloud Director PowerCLI snapin. 
In this chapter we are going connect VI servers using PowerCLI and create new DataCenter in VCenter, also we how to add new host in VCenter server using PowerCLI.
Connect to VCenter Server.

To Connect VCenter server using powercli cmdlet "Connect-VIServer"

Creating a new DataCenter

To Create New DataCenter Name Called "LAB" use PowerCLI cmdlet "New-Datacenter"

Once DataCenter is crated you can cross verify using "Get-DataCenter" Command.

Add Esxi Host to Newly created DataCenter "LAB"

To add new Esxi host to newly created Datacenter use "Add-VMHost" command.

monitor the progress on screen

Once host get added successfully you can seen connection status and all other host related details like CPU, Memory usages, total CPU and Memory capacity.

To check all host in Data Center you can use "Get-VMhost", it will show list of host under VCenter DataCenter.

I will be adding more article for VMware administration with PowerCLI  

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

How to Install a New Windows Server 2012 Active Directory Forest using PowerShell

There are many ways/methods are available to install the Active Directory, here I am going to explain you one of the PowerShell command line method to install Active Directory.
This step by step process explain you to install AD using PS command.
In Windows Server 2012, AD DS replaces the Dcpromo tool with a Server Manager and Windows PowerShell-based deployment system.
To install activity directory on windows Server 2012, we need to first install AD-DS Service
Install AD-DS Service using windows feature PS command as shown in below.
PS C:\> Add-WindowsFeature ad-domin-services
Once installation started you will see progress bar to give you status on it.
Once installation completed you will get successful installation exit code as shown below.
PS C:\> Add-WindowsFeature ad-domain-services

Success Restart Needed Exit Code      Feature Result                          
------- -------------- ---------      --------------                          
True    No             Success        {Active Directory Domain Services, Rem...

PS C:\> 
Now next step to start the actual installation of your Activity directory installation new DC in new Forest, go to PowerShell command control use the “Install-ADDSForest” command with -DomainName switch like showed in below.
PS C:\> Install-ADDSForest -DomainName sysadminworld.lab

Once you enter it will ask you to provide the “Safemodeadministratorpassword” you should remember this pass word since this password will useful when you restore the Active Directory please refer below snap.
PS C:\> Install-ADDSForest -DomainName sysadminworld.lab
SafeModeAdministratorPassword: ********
Confirm SafeModeAdministratorPassword: ********
Once you confirm the password it will as you reboot confirmation after successfully installation completed press Y to yes
PS C:\> Install-ADDSForest -DomainName sysadminworld.lab
SafeModeAdministratorPassword: ********
Confirm SafeModeAdministratorPassword: ********

The target server will be configured as a domain controller and restarted when this operation is
Do you want to continue with this operation?
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help (default is "Y"):
Once you confirm it will start installing AD on your server, it will show each background installation task progress.
After installation is completed you will get successful status message .
PS C:\> Install-ADDSForest -DomainName sysadminworld.lab
SafeModeAdministratorPassword: ********


   Validating environment and user input
      All tests completed successfully
   Installing new forest
      Configuring the DNS Server service on this computer...

Congratulation you have successfully installed AD

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Capture Windows Server Reference Image using

Create and capture Windows Server reference image is important because that image serves as the foundation for the devices in your organization..

This image is the core operating system you need on your network environment. The image requires all needed software for your Windows Target Server to be installed. So before capturing Windows Server image, make sure you update Apps and Windows with latest updates.

1.    Log in to Windows Target server which you are going to capture.
2.    Explorer in path “C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep”.
3.    Press Windows+R to open run and type Sysprep and run Sysprep. On theSysprep tool select Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and selectGeneralize the click OK. 
4.    2. Once the Sysprep has completed, system will restart and boot it from Network. You must configure you system to boot from network. Just press F12 to go to Pexe
5.    Now select Capture Image to capture Windows server reference image or PC.
6.    On the Welcome to Windows Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard page click Next.
7.     Now select the directory where you want to capture, type image name and image description then click Next.
8.    Select Name and Location or tick the check box of Upload image to a Windows Deployment Services server. When done click Connect and type user credential. Select Image Group name also then click Next. 
9.    This will take a long time to complete the process of capturing Windows reference PC.
10. . When it has complete click Finish and restart your Windows server reference PC.Configure and select the reference PC language, time, user and password, because it has been completely out of box by executing Sysprep

11. Go to Windows Deployment server and check the result of Windows Server capturing. The Windows Server captured image should be transferred successfully to WDS server.

Deploying Windows Server Using WDS

Deploying Windows Server using Windows Deployment Services with Windows Server 2012 R2, we already added Windows server install.wim image and created a boot image also.

The WDS Server is ready to response for client requests. Make sure that the active directory and DHCP Server are running and work perfectly. It depends to your network environment; I have installed Active directory and DHCP Server in one server and WDS on the separate server which is the member of domain. You can install them on one server, both of them work the same but installing on the same server is not a good practice in real environment.

1.    Go to Target Server and boot it with network card (Pxe). In BIOS you have to set the boot option to boot from the network and just turn on the server.
2.    The system will boot from network, so ask you to press F12 for network service boot. Press F12 to boot the system with Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE).
3.    On the Windows Setup page, select the language and keyboard then click Next. The system will ask you the credential, type user name and password and click OK.
4.    You must enter the correct user name and password, otherwise you will face credential errors and unable to continue.
5.    Now select each Windows image you want to install. Select the and click Next.

6.    Follow other process are the same as the clear installation of a windows Server operating system.

Add Image to Windows Deployment Services

Now below steps by step will show you how to add Windows Images for deploying, creating Boot Image and Capture Image for capturing the reference Server which is a custom images of a Windows operating system.

We need to add two types of images in WDS, install.wim and boot.wim. Then install.wim images are the operating system images that you deploy to the Target server. You can also use the Install.wim file from the installation media (in the \Sources folder of Windows DVD), or you can create your own custom images.

To boot you system through network card, you must add the boot.wim image of the latest Windows Operating System. The Boot.wim images are Windows PE images that you boot a client computer to perform an operating system installation. In most scenarios. Boot.wim image is also located in the Sources folder of Windows DVD.

1.    Login to WDS server as domain admin or member administrator group
2.    go to Server Manage and open Windows deployment services from Tools tab of Server Manger Dashboard.
3.    Expend the Servers then right click the Install Images  and click Add Install Image
4.    On the Add Image Wizard page type the name of a group and click Next
5.    On the Image Files page click Browse and select the install.wim image from Windows sources folder and click Open and then click Next. 
6.    On the Available Images pages select Windows edition, whatever you want and clickNext. Here we only have Windows technical preview for enterprise.
7.    It will take a few minutes to check the integrity of image’s and adding image. When the image added successfully, just click Finish and see the Clients group that has the image ready for deploying to clients machines.
8.    That is it. You can add as much as Image you want. But now try to add the Boot.wim image the same as Install image. But instead of install.wim image select boot.wim image.    

9.    Now you can deploy and install Windows server for your network clients. The next part we will install client operating system through network using WDS.