Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Build a virtual S2D cluster with Windows Server 2019 build 17744

Windows Server 2016 and 2019 Storage Sapces Direct (S2D) allows building HA storage systems using storage nodes with local storage, such as SATA or SSD disks.

In this blogpost, I’ll deploy a two node S2D cluster based on Windows Server 2019 build 17744. The main machine is a HP ProBook 450 G5 with Windows 10, 16 GB memory, 512 GB SSD disk, and Hyper-V enabled.

First of all, I’ve deployed the following virtual machines:

  • S2D-W2019-DC01 (Domain Controller, DNS, Group Policies)
    IP address: 172.16.0.100
  • S2D-W2019-HV01 (Hyper-V host, S2D node)
    IP address: 172.16.0.101 (LAN)
    IP address: 10.10.0.101 (Live Migration)
  • S2D-W2019-HV02 (Hyper-V host, S2D node)
  • IP address: 172.16.0.102 (LAN)
    IP address: 10.10.0.102 (Live Migration)

All the servers are installed with Windows Server 2019 build 17744. The first server I’ve configured is the domain controller. My internal domain is s2dlab.local.

For both S2D nodes (S2D-W2019-HV01 and S2D-W2019-HV02), you’ve to configure some additional settings, because this servers are virtual. So we’re going to run Hyper-V in Hyper-V and on that Hyper-V host there’re some guest virtual machines (nested virtualization) 😀 Cool stuff!!!


$S2DHOST1 = 'S2D-W2019-HV01'
$S2DHOST2 = 'S2D-W2019-HV02'

# List all virtual machines
Get-VM

# Enable nested virtualization on virtual machines
Set-VMProcessor -VMName $S2DHOST1 -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true
Set-VMProcessor -VMName $S2DHOST2 -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true

Next, you’ve to Configure the following settings within the VM configuration:

  • Disable dynamic memory;
  • Set the number of virtual processors to 2 or 4;
  • Turn on MAC address spoofing on your network interface(s);

           

Now the domain controller is up and running and both S2D nodes are installed and configured with Windows Server 2019, it’s time to add some storage. Both servers have 3 x 50 GB virtual disks attached! Note!! this is only for testing and demo!! 

So we’ve 300 GB storage available for our S2D cluster. After this is done, you can install the following roles and features within Windows Server:

  • (Role) File and Storage Services;
  • (Role) Hyper-V;
  • (Feature) Failover Clustering;

           

Now all the components are ready to build the cluster. It’s recommended to run the cluster validation before building your cluster! The name of my cluster is ‘S2D-CL01’ with IP address 172.16.0.200/16. Note!! Uncheck the option ‘Add all eligible storage to the cluster’!!

The cluster is up and running. As you can see within your Active Directory and DNS configuration, there’re three computer objects (two cluster nodes and one Failover Cluster object).

                 

The last step before enabling ‘S2D’ on our cluster is checking the disk configuration.


# List all available disks within the cluster nodes
Get-PhysicalDisk

# Enable Storage Spaces Direct on the cluster
Enable-ClusterS2D

# List all Storage Pools within the S2D cluster
Get-Storagepool S2D*

     

Now our cluster is Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) enabled. The last step is to create a virtual disk within our Storage Pool and add it as a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) to the cluster, wo we can store workloads on it! Bacause we’ve a two node cluster, the only Resiliency type is Two-Way Mirror.

                 

Wrap Up:

In this blogpost we’ve builded a two nodes virtual Storage Spaces Direct cluster in Hyper-V (Windows 10). The S2D nodes are running Windows Server 2019. It’s really a nice opportunity to run this configuration virtual on your laptop or desktop, while nested virtualization is supported and it works great!!

In the next blogpost I’ll show you to install and configure a virtual machine within our S2D cluster. Also performing some live migrations to show the high availability and resiliency of our setup!

Webinar – What’s new in Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 2019 Webinar
With Microsoft Ignite just around the corner, Windows Server 2019 is set to get its full release and the signs look good. Very good.

Unless you’re part of the Windows Server insider program – which grants you access to the latest Windows Server Preview builds – you probably haven’t had a hands-on experience yet
with Windows Server 2019 but the guys over at Altaro have and are preparing to host a webinar on the 3rd of October to tell you all about it.

The webinar will be held a week after Microsoft Ignite so it will cover the complete feature set included in the full release as well as a more in-depth look at the most important
features in Windows Server 2019.

Whenever a new version of Windows Server gets released there’s always a lot of attention and media coverage so it’s nice to have an hour-long session where you can sit back and let
a panel of Microsoft experts cut through the noise and give you all the information you need.

It’s also a great chance to ask your questions direct to those with the inside knowledge and receive answers live on air.

Over 2000 people have now registered for this webinar and I’m going to be joining too. It’s free to register – what are you waiting for?

Experts Live NL 2018 Intro Movie

Last Tuesday, it was a great day again! Experts Live 2018 NL. The biggest community event in the Netherlands. Great sessions, great speakers, very high level of content, great demos and off course as always a great intro movie!! 🙂 Many thanks to the organization of Experts Live! See you next year!!

http://www.expertslive.nl

3 Tools for Automating Deployments in the Era of the Modern Hybrid Cloud

This video shows how powerful PowerShell is for doing some automation in Hyper-V and Azure (IaaS).

Where are my ‘Windows Themes’ in Windows 10

I usually download some great Windows Themes, just to have every day a new active wallpaper! Nothing is better then starting the day with a beach and sunshine 🙂

But where are those Windows Themes saved on my computer? After some search, I’ve found the wallpapers in:

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\Community\

You can download some great Windows Themes here.

Microsoft Azure 101 Cards and Interactive Sites

Microsoft has released the 101 Azure cards and Interactive Sites. From this page you can easiliy navigate to the specific topic in Azure, where you can find information, documentation, pricing and how-to’s. Very usefull when moving to the cloud!!

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

Download Microsoft Ignite 2017 session content

This script can download all the Microsoft Ignite slidedecks and videos that are available from the Ignite portal. Very useful if you want to watch all the movies and sessions once again!! In this example I’ll download only the sessions with the keyword “IaaS”. But you can also download all the content, or just by title, speaker, etc.

Download the script from Microsoft Gallery here.


\Get-IgniteSession.ps1 -DownloadFolder C:\Ignite2017 -Keyword "IaaS"