AzureStack TP2 – deploy experience

During Ignite 2016 in Atlanta, Microsoft announced the technical preview 2 of AzureStack and finally now this friday I got my hardware available (the dang server was not responding on the ILO port and I had to go to the datacenter to give it a kung-fu-devops-kick) so I could deploy the new bits.

First things first! Read the documentation about how to proceed and you will more likely succeed in your deployment!

The download for AzureStack is 20 GB so if you have a slow internet connection it will take some time!

Before getting started i suggest you to run the pre-check script that can tell you if there is some immediate issues,

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And then you can unpack and follow the instructions to prepare to vhd-boot into the cloudbuilder disk with the next script:

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Once rebooted you want to make sure that you only have one nic enabled and then kick of the deployment which will take about 2-3 hours if you have a decent hardware like me 😛

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As you can see the install process uses both desired state and powershell direct (which is a lovely feature in Hyper-V 2016)

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And if you are patient and then log in as a azurestack\AzureStackAdmin on the physical machine you will see the status of the deployment. Do not log in as a local user on the server and try to start the deployment again!

Hopefully you will end up with the same result as me:

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And then you can log in to the VM MAS-CON01 to connect to the portal,

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Maybe I was lucky but I believe that the Stack-Team has done some serious work since TP1 and the deployment process have been thoroughly developed, tested and works really good now.

Good luck in your deployment of Azurestack TP2!

 

Explorations within AWS – Setting ACLs on temporary SSD store for SQL

I have been quite busy lately and not had the time to update the blog so much that I wanted but I will try to add some posts during the summer!

In the project I am right now we are setting up environments in Amazons cloud AWS. I have used their images AMI for a SQL Always On cluster that spans over two nodes.

The AMI is preinstalled with SQL and ready for incorporation in an domain and the Enterprise version can be used with the r3.2xlarge r3.4xlarge and r3.8xlarge.

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As you can see each of them have an SSD instance storage that can be used as a temporary volume which suits SQL tempdb perfectly. Just go into the SQL configuration and point its tempdb to the temporary storage! The MSSQL service account is a domain account without administrative rights on the server so that is why I explicit set the rights for the volume…

As the AWS documentations clearly tells us:

An instance store provides temporary block-level storage for your instance. This storage is located on disks that are physically attached to the host computer. Instance store is ideal for temporary storage of information that changes frequently, such as buffers, caches, scratch data, and other temporary content

You can specify instance store volumes for an instance only when you launch it. The data in an instance store persists only during the lifetime of its associated instance. If an instance reboots (intentionally or unintentionally), data in the instance store persists. However, data in the instance store is lost under the following circumstances:

  • The underlying disk drive fails
  • The instance stops
  • The instance terminates

So I created a small powershell script that runs each time the instance boots to set ACL´s on that volume for the SQL to be able to create its tempdb files. No tempdb files = no sql service running….

And this is set up as a powershell job that triggers on the server booting

Happy AWS´ing!

Howto Expand disk in VirtualBox for mac

I created a new Windows 10 client in my Mac that I have in an assignment and that on VirtualBox. I made it to small of course and when trying to add some stuff with onedrive sync I could not succeed …

So to be able to expand the underlying disk in virtualbox I had to go into terminal mode as this is not part of the gui which of course is okay, so find your vdi file and possible if you are afraid, do a copy of the file before and of course the VM have to be stopped during the expansion.

Using command VBoxManage modifymedium disk  xxxx.vdi –resizebytes  85899345920

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and checking the properties on the virtual disk file I can see that it has been expanded

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after that you boot the VM and go into windows disk settings and expand the partition and you are ready to add files 🙂

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Upgrade to Windows Server 2016 TP5 – Live migrate from TP4

So the day have come when finally the new TP5 bits have been released! And I of course downloaded and wanted to test to upgrade one of my hyper-v servers in my home lab.

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Once installed I tried to migrate a VM from the hyper-v manager at the new TP5 node, I had of course set up kerberos and delegation before but still it gave me an error. To see if it was just in the GUI or also in PowerShell I tried the same move and got the same issue

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So powershell remoting to the rescue to test that I could live migrate my VM´s from the TP4 to the TP5 and that worked nicely. I will dig some more into if there is an issue with the AD objects or what causes this and do an update if I find anything…

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happy testing!

 

Preview of Azure Site Recovery in the new Azure Portal

Finally the Azure Site Recovery service can be reached from the new Azure Portal and the ARM way of doing things! It has been possible to use ASR with PowerShell and the new ARM way for some months but only for a subset of the site recovery services (VMM/Hyper-V).

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Not a day to soon! I have a customer that we have engaged in the CSP program and as that is based on the new, the old ASR was not possible to use with that subscription and use another subscription just for ASR sucks..

As you can see on the following screendump I go into the “Getting Started” to select scenario and then follow the guide to complete and in the case with physical and VMware I need to install a process/configuration server on-premise.

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Once installed on a Windows 2012 R2 server I connect it to the ASR with the registration file,

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One thing to think about using this service is that the process server will if you do not go in and configure the bandwidth settings eat all available internet capacity as my customer so nicely explained…

Configure this to something that works for both you and the company, and with the enhanced ASR where you do not need additional servers in Azure you find this setting in the backup properties.

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It is quite easy to start and protecting your workloads and remember that the first 30 days are free 🙂

 

SC VMM bare metal deploy with UEFI enabled host

During last week I was working on some bare metal deployment on some Hyper-V hosts with System Center VMM. We had deployed them before using legacy boot but now we had updated the BIOS to latest version and got into some trouble.. Maybe it was because of the HPE instead of the HP 😉

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During the deployment the WinPE got an error and could not connect to the VMM server,

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We tried to update NIC drivers and stuff on the WinPE image but that did not help. During the testing we started the server and configured it to boot with EFI instead of legacy boot and olala it worked to connect to the VMM server but thus as the Hyper-V VHD was MBR we got the following error:

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The easiest way I could think of right there and then was to create my new GPT based VHD to boot the Hyper-V host with a powershell convert script from the original MBR vhd. The script required to be run on a Hyper-V host so I connected to one of the Hyper-V nodes in the test cluster and ran the script on a patched VM that was sysprepped:

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And once that was done I had to update the Physical profile to set the disk to GPT instead of MBR:

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And now the deployment worked nicely all the way!

 

Configure VM Network settings from the host using Hyper-V 2016

Today I used Ravikanth script for configuring an VM´s NIC settings from the host and can confirm that it works nicely also on a Hyper-V Host with 2016 TP4 and a full-GUI VM and also with VM´s running Nanoserver 🙂

There is a cmdlet in the Hyper-V PowerShell module that is named: Set-VMNetworkAdapterFailoverConfiguration although that configures only the nic for the Hyper-V replicated VM and cannot be used on a ordinary vm. So using the function from Ravi I set the VM´s configuration using the Hyper-V WMI virtualization namespace.

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And trying to set it on a Nano server also works nicely

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SCVMM Bare-Metal Deploy errors and PXE error 21164

I was working with a customer yesterday and trying out bare-metal deploy of a Image for their Hyper-V servers, and in this case a brand new Dell R730 with nice specs 🙂

During the deployment we got some errors that we had to handle and I wanted to highlight them so that you can handle them if they appear in your environment one day!

First of we had some issues to enable the NIC to respond to PXE but that had more to do with where to find stuff in the bios and iDRAC settings 😉

But once that was fixed we got the following error and I have already mentioned that in a blog post earlier.

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So trying to update the WinPE image got us into some more trouble, as you can see on the following screen dump. This was a new one that I have not seen before, checking the folders I could not find any strange things but…

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I tested to restart the VMM service just in case and the same error appeared and thus I thought that it might go away if I remove and add the PXE server again and yes that worked!

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And after this we were able to deploy a physical servers as a Hyper-V host!

Finally the AzureStack TP1 bits have arrived!

Yesterday the AzureStack TP1 PoC files was released and now you can play around and create your own Azure. Now I just need a decent hardware to run this!

If you have some issues with the requirements my friend Daniel have made a blog about how you can try to install it with less memory!

Shown below is the diagram of the PoC setup and here you can see all the different roles included for your Azure on premises 🙂

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On this page you can read more about it and learn how to deploy it to your environment!

Download SysCtr 2016 TP4 VHD´s with PowerShell

I have been using and publishing my script for easily download all the VHD´s for evaluating and testing the technical previews of System Center 2016 and now it is time for the TP4! These pre-installed VHD´s make it quite easy to spin up some of the System Center Suite as VM´s on your Hyper-V box within minutes once downloaded.

Here is the script for your convenience and start playing with the new release!