Azure Stack HCI

Today Microsoft announced the Azure Stack HCI and the family of Azure, Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI is complete to take care of your company all different needs.

So Azure Stack HCI is the new name for the Hyper Converged solution that before was called WSSD and hardware companies certify their solutions to be in the list for Azs HCI.

Azure Stack HCI solutions

There is a hybrid event on the 28th that you can sign up and learn more on that online show.

Or listen on the recording from Jeff and Vijay where they describe more about Azure Stack HCI

Upgrading my homelab to Server 2019

My homelab environment consists of two Intel NUC and I have been playing around with the insiders previews of Server 2019 on one of them and the other one was running Server 2016.

As you might know there is a bit of a hustle of the nic drivers with the server versions of Windows and the Intel NUCĀ“s so there are some steps to get it working. I had some issues where the nic failed during in-place upgrade between preview versions of 2019 and as I do not have a KVM I had to move the NUC to a monitor and fix it. To get the drivers in I had to set the server into test mode:

After I did this and rebooted the server I could update the nic drivers that I already had modified as per this blog post.

I wanted to test and update my 2016 server with an in-place upgrade without moving it from the closet and as a precaution I changed to test mode first and then started the update…

After the upgrade went through successfully I changed back to non-test-mode:

I had a small issue with the Windows Update after the upgrade and it would not finish installing the CU of 2018-12… As a mitigation if this I went for the command line tool of System File Checker, SFC and the parameter /Scannow I also did a Dism repair and after these two successfully ran I could continue with the Windows Update!


Happy NUC-playing with 2019 šŸ™‚

Global Update Manager in Win Failover Clusters

Yesterday we experienced some issues in a large hyper-v cluster that had nodes evicting and restarting the cluster service resulting in VMĀ“s beeing restarted on other nodes and that is not great when trying to have a High Available service for the end users.

Reading about the Global Update Manager and how it works and also getting help from the Microsoft CSS helped us getting out of the issue. In default async mode in 2012 R2 the cluster update is commited when a majority of the nodes have processed it, when reading the cluster state the nodes need to check with a majority of the nodes once again to get a valid state so this means more traffic.Ā 

The problem is when you have a large Hyper-VĀ  2012 R2 cluster with lots of cluster resource updates and VMM, SCOM agents hammering the cluster database function gets lots of traffic and that can be cumbersome and at last it might start going bananas and evicting hosts that does not respond in time. Your logs will start filling up with event 5377 and 1135.

GUM cluster synchronous mode

There have been some work under the covers and now the cluster database read write mode has changed to a default of synchronous mode in a Hyper-V 2016 cluster. When doing it synchron it means all nodes in the cluster will process the state and that also means that all nodes have the latest info and thus can read it locally and that means less net traffic!

Default BehavioursĀ inĀ Clusters

Windows Server 2012 R2

Get-Cluster | fl DatabaseReadWriteMode

DatabaseReadWriteMode : 1

Windows Server 2016

Get-Cluster | fl DatabaseReadWriteMode

DatabaseReadWriteMode : 0

ref: https://windowsprivatecloud.wordpress.com/about/configure-the-global-update-manager-gum-mode-in-wfc/

Once we changed to the DatabaseReadWriteMode 0 the cluster became stable.Ā 

My Microsoft Ignite Schedule

I have during the latest weeks been refining my Schedule and now I am getting somewhere about to an gigantic board of valuable sessions that I want to see.

My schedule as of today Friday the 21th of september

And now you start to panic and thing this is caos, and yes in some sense it is but there is a plan with it, and that is if I realize after 5 minutes into a session that either the speaker is a bad preformer or if the session does not seem to fit my interest I can then divert to another one that I added also. There is another reason and that is after Ignite I might want to go back and see what sessions I might want to find the recordings for.Ā 

Regarding the part of your obligations as a business traveler and informing your co-workers at home there is a neat feature that you can use within the scheduler and that is the Trip report

When you press that link you get an word document where you can add your own notes and findings during the sessions and have that handy when getting back into the normal work-mode!

word doc from trip report

I will update with some more great stuff during the week!Ā 

Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 Features list

Quite an impressive list of new stuff in the Hyper-V are with 2016 release, and then you of course also have the new stuff in Clustering and storage to add to this but that will be another blog post šŸ™‚

  • Compatible with Connected Standby (new)
  • Discrete device assignment (new)
  • Host resource protection (new)
  • Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory (new)
  • Hyper-V Manager improvements (updated)
  • Integration services delivered through Windows Update (updated).
  • Linux Secure Boot (new)
  • More memory and processors for generation 2 virtual machines and Hyper-V hosts (updated)
  • Nested virtualization (new)
  • Networking features (new)
  • Production checkpoints (new)
  • Rolling Hyper-V Cluster upgrade (new)
  • Shared virtual hard disks (updated)
  • Shielded virtual machines (new)
  • Start order priority for clustered virtual machines (new)
  • Storage quality of service (QoS) (updated)
  • Virtual machine configuration file format (updated)
  • Virtual machine configuration version (updated).
  • Windows Containers (new)
  • Windows PowerShell Direct (new)

Read more at the technet site here.

 

AWS Cloudwatch – watch out for outdated EC2config

I configured a Windows instance on AWS to start reporting logs and performance counters into their AWS Cloudwatch for centralised overview.

The day after I had started monitoring I found that it was consuming loads of CPU and memory and thus not normal,

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.01.01

Going into the instance, which took a while as it was so sluggish, I found that the EC2Config service was going berserk and I had to kill it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 10.53.59

Looking at the properties of the EC2 you can see that it was 2.2.12.30 and far from the version available today.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 11.12.56

So if you want to enable Cloudwatch make sure that you first update the EC2config to be sure that your server will survive the burden of monitoring Ā ?

Firmware update of NIC makes team go degraded

I have been doing some maintenance on a Hyper-V environment and patching with Windows updates and also firmware for the hardware.

The hosts was Dell R730 with former Broadcom and now Qlogic 10 Gbit NICĀ“s. There are 4 10 Gbit NICĀ“s on every host and they are set up with one team for management and one team for VMĀ“s.

I have done firmware update before but now there was a new version that I wanted to apply.

It tock a while before I realised that the NIC`s had changed name and thus that was why the teams was degraded, we had some discussions and the Networking guy checked his configuration more than once and we also verified the cabling on the server and then after a while I realised that the NIC actually had changed name and once adding the correct NICĀ“s to the teams the status changed to normal!

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.33.14

So when doing maintenece please check the status after updating firmware or the battle with the networking guys can end in misery on your side šŸ˜‰

MAP 9.0 Beta has been released

This morning a new beta of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning toolkit has been released and now it is version 9.0

This beta release of the MAP Toolkit helps increase the agility and cost effectiveness of deploying the latest Microsoft technologies. It also enhances usage tracking to include accounting for Remote Desktop Services as well as Server and Cloud Enrollment licensed deployments. MAP 9.0 beta additionally helps organizations assess their environment for Office 2013 and Office 365, track usage of Windows Server 2012, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, System Center Configuration Manager 2012, and SQL Server 2012. The Windows Azure assessment report has also been updated to include the latest Azure sizing.

I have upgraded my 8.5 to 9.0 Beta

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.32.58

and when going from the 8.5 to 9 you can upgrade the database, if you have a MAP version 7 there is no possibility to upgrade to 8.5 or 9.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.33.10

If you want to get the beta you can sign up at the connect site at this link.

Installing vSphere vCenter 5.1 on Windows 2012

I have tested to install the new VMware ESXi 5.1 in a VM on my Macbook pro, next step was to get the vCenter 5.1 working on Windows 2012.

I downloaded the evaluation ISO from technet and when using the Easy Install I got an error trying to install the OS on the VM, as you can see on the screendump I get a licensing error, my first thought was that it was an error with my iso download and I then downloaded it again but the error persisted.

When I try to set up a new VM without the Easy Install I get the license agreement without error and could deploy the VM without any errors. Did I say that I am using the latest fusion 5.0.1

So to continue with the install, when the OS is upp and running I also need to download/install .net 3.5 (this is not by default available in win 2012 so I need the Media or an Internet connection). This as the .Net 3.5 is a requirement when installing vCenter.

Then I run the simple install from the media that will install the vCenter server, Single sign-on and Inventory service together.

When the installation is finished everything seems to be installed but the vCenter service will not start. It complained about a service that it depended on that was not existing.

I investigated a bit and the Protected Storage Service was deprecated in windows 2008 and only in read-mode and I could not find it for Windows 2012. So I wanted to remove theĀ dependent services.

So how to do this, I type sc config vpxd depend= “” to remove all dependencies and then I typed sc start vpxdĀ and the service took a bit to start but eventually it got to a running state.

Then I installed the vSphere Client and tried to log in and when the client opened I added the vSphere host without any issues.

Now when I got this running I will continue to install PowerCLI 5.1 and test it with PowerShell 3.0