Archive for the ‘Microsoft Windows Server 2012’ Category

Failover Hyper-V cluster nodes with mixed Upper & Lower case names

I’ve seen a lot of Hyper-V clusters during my daily work. Most of the time, I see a mixture of none standardised names or letters. Also a mixture of upper and lower case names.

There’s is only one option to have all your cluster nodes in Upper case names within the failover cluster manager, you’ll have to use the command line! For example:

cluster.exe /cluster:<name of the cluster> /add /node:<name of the node in UPPER case>

For this command to work, you’ve to install ‘Failover Cluster Command Interface’.

       

Windows System State Backup to Azure with Azure Backup is generally available

We are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of Windows Server System State Backup to Azure with the Azure Backup agent. We previewed the direct offsite of Windows Server System State to Azure using the Azure Backup agent earlier this year. This was a key addition to Azure Backup agent’s existing capability of backing up files and folders directly to Azure. With this GA release, the Azure Backup agent has full production support for protecting Windows File Servers, Active Directory, and IIS Web servers hosted on Windows Server 2016 all the way back to Windows Server 2008 R2. Backing up your Windows Server System State to Azure gives you a simple, secure and cost-effective way of protecting Windows Servers and enabling the recovery of dynamic OS and application configuration from Azure in the event of an IT disaster.

New features

  • Flexible backup schedule and retention policy for System State
    Now you can configure daily backups for System State at your preferred time directly from the Azure backup agent console. You can also set retention ranges for your daily, weekly and monthly system state backups. These options put you in control of managing your data.
  • Automation at scale with PowerShell
    Full PowerShell support for configuration, backup and recovery of System State so that you can automate protection of Windows Server files and configuration at scale.

Windows-Server-System-State-Backup-Azure-Backup

Benefits of System State Backup with Azure Backup

  • Comprehensive protection for Active Directory, File-Servers and IIS Web servers
    System State fully encapsulates Active Directory, which is the most important database in any organization and allows for targeted domain-controller recoveries. In addition, critical cluster information of File Servers and the IIS Web Server Metabase is fully contained in the Windows System State.
  • Centralized management in Azure
    Once it is backed up, all information related to System State backups across your Windows Servers is available in the Azure portal. You can also configure notifications directly from the Azure portal so you get notified of a failed backup and you can take corrective steps. You can also generate reports using Microsoft Power BI.
  • Cost-effective and secure offsite storage for Windows Server
    With pay-as-you-go Azure storage, Azure Backup eliminates on-premises infrastructure by directly backing up your Windows Server System State to Azure. Azure Backup also encrypts your backups at the source using a key that only you have access to. Additionally, enhanced security features built into Azure Backup ensure that your critical system state backups remain secure from ransomware, corruptions, and deletions.
  • Free restores
    With Azure Backup, you can restore System State files from Azure without any egress charges.

Follow the four simple steps below to start protecting Windows Servers using Azure Backup.

  1. Create an Azure Recovery Services Vault in the Azure portal
  2. Download the latest version of the Azure Backup Agent to your on-premises Windows Servers from the Azure Portal
  3. Install and Register the Agent to your Recovery Services Vault in Azure
  4. Start protecting Windows Server System State and other Files and Folders directly to Azure!

Related links and additional content

How to: Implementing Storage Spaces insides Azure Virtual Machines

Within an Azure Virtual Machine, you should never store your (personal) data on the C: drive or the temporary disk. You can attach new storage disks to the virtual machine, how many disks depends on the VM size you’ve choosen.

View all VM sizes in Microsoft Azure:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-sizes

In my example I’ve choosen the ‘DS1v2’ VM size, so I can attach two extra (premium storage) disks. Because the maximum size of an disk in Microsoft Azure is 1023 GB, I’ve created multiple disks. Both disks are attached to the virtual machine and we’re going to implement Storage Spaces within the virtual machine. Storage Spaces is software defined storage (SDS) from Windows Server 2012 R2 and above.

Storage Spaces is a built-in Windows Server Role. When combining all the data disks, you can create one, or more, big data volumes in your Windows Virtual Machine. Extremely powerful for example file servers.

1.) First of all I’ve created a new virtual machine using the Azure Portal

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2.) Next I’ve created two new disks (premium storage – SSD) with tthe size of 1023 GB.

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3.) Next I’ve logged in into the new created virtual machine and configured Storage Spaces.

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4.) The next step is to create a new virtual disk

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5.) The final step is to create the new volume for storing your data on.

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As you can see, there’s a new volume of 2 TBwithin the virtual machine. If you’re changing the size of the virtual machine, it is also possible to add some more disks to the virtual machine and extend the Storage Spaces with more terabytes!!

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How to: Initialize, format and label disks during OSD Task Sequence in SCCM 2012 R2

During a task seuence in Microsoft SCCM 2012 R2, the operating system and applications are installed on the C: drive in most situations. But in some deployments, you definitely want to create more disks. For example, you want to create a D: and E: partition for storing some other data. Maybe for Microsoft SQL or Exchange installation, databases, logfiles or just some other data.

The following script will do all these steps for you during the task sequence. The script initialize, format, partition and label the disks for you….fully automated! 🙂

## Set CD-ROM from E: to X:
Set-WmiInstance -InputObject ( Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_volume -Filter "DriveLetter = 'E:'" ) -Arguments @{DriveLetter='X:'}

$disks = Get-Disk | measure
If($disks.Count -eq 2)
{
## Initialize all new disks
Initialize-Disk 1
## Format and rename disks
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "1"} | New-Partition -UseMaximumSize | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel Data -Confirm:$false
## Set drive letters (D: - Data, E: - Backup)
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "1"} | Get-Partition | where {$_.PartitionNumber -eq 2} | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter D
}
elseif($disks.Count -eq 3)
{
## Initialize all new disks
Initialize-Disk 1
Initialize-Disk 2
## Format and rename disks
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "1"} | New-Partition -UseMaximumSize | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel Data -Confirm:$false
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "2"} | New-Partition -UseMaximumSize | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel Backup -Confirm:$false
## Set drive letters (D: - Data, E: - Backup)
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "1"} | Get-Partition | where {$_.PartitionNumber -eq 2} | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter D
Get-Disk | where {$_.Number -eq "2"} | Get-Partition | where {$_.PartitionNumber -eq 2} | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter E
}
else
{
exit
}
exit

The script first checks how many disks are attached to the server.
If there is only one disk attached, you’ll have only a C: drive available after the deployment.
If there are 2 disks attached, you’ll have a C: and D: drive avalailable after the deployment.
If there are 3 disks attached, you’ll have a C:, D: and E: drive available after the deployment.

The CD-ROM drive will alse changed from E: to X:.

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How to: Change computername in Windows Explorer on Windows Server 2012 R2

When you’re are using a lot of virtual machines or environments, it’s somethimes realy usefull to see in what environment or on what server you’re logged in. If created a really nice solution for my servers, basically Remote Desktop Services in different environments, that does exact my I need! I’ve changed the displayname in Windows Explorer to the value “user on server”, for example: “mark on prod-rds-01”.

You can set this new value with Group Policy Preferences or some other scripting.

1.) Create a new GPO in the Group Policy Management Console
2.) Navigate to “User Configuration / Preferences / Windows Settings / Registry
3.) Create a new registry item and browse to the following registry key:
HKCU/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/CLSID/{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
4.) Change the default REG_SZ value to “%username% on %computername%”
5.) Login to the specific server where you targeted the GPO and open Windows Explorer
6.) The name of your computer has changed to “username on computername”

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How to: Remove “Connect to a remote PC” in RDS 2012 R2

When you deploy a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment and you’re going to use also RDS Web Access, the default website (RDWeb) contains some features that you’re maybe not going to use. For example “Connect to a remote PC”. This features gives the user te ability to connect to a remote computer using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

I want to remove this option from my RDWeb website. This is a realy easy job in Windows RDS 2012 R2. Without hacking some files or running custom script, within a few seconds the option is gone!

1.) Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Management Console
2.) Navigate to “Sites / Default Web Site / RDWeb / Pages” and select “Application Settings” in the right pane
3.) Navigate to “ShowDesktops” and change this value from true to false
4.) The new value is immediately live!
5.) As you can see, the option is gone now…

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