Add 2016 shared vhds to VMs fail with backend SOFS running Windows 2012 R2

We are doing some work in adding functionality and found an issue today! We have quite a few workloads running on a converged setup with Hyper-V nodes accessing storage from Scale-Out File Servers.

In our lab environment we have Hyper-V running on Server 2016 and these get their storage from SOFS and they currently run 2012 R2. For ordinary VM´s that has not been a problem. Now we wanted to get the VHD Scale sets (enhanced shared VHDX) set up for guest clusters running guest OS win 2016.

The documentation says not so much more than you need storage residing on a SMB or CSV volume, but when trying to add a VHDs file we get an error stating that the SOFS server does not recognize the file format of the vhd set and think it is a reserved file for windows!

 

Using a SMB share from a bunch of 2016 Scale Out File Servers gives no errors

So upgrade those SOFS servers first and you will not run into problem 🙂

Running Honolulu on Windows Server 17079

I had Honolulu in an earlier release installed on a Windows Server Insider 17035 build and wanted to try the new feature that came in 17079 with inplace upgrade, that did not however work out as wanted and I had to run a clean VM instead! I have not looked more into why the upgrade failed, probably because the documentation said that it was supported from 1709…

Thanks to the insider system it is already a VHDx there that I could download and use and add it to my domain.

Once that was done I could add the honolulu msi into the VM with the magnificent Copy-VMFile cmdlet

And after a simple install I could connect to it from a Chrome browser! (IE is not supported)

Have fun with your testing of Honolulu!

SCVMM 2016 with cu4 can not add more than 64 vCPUs

We have some demands on BIG-ASS VM´s and in our new environment with System Center 2016 and VMM 2016 we tried to add a hardware profile with more than 64 vCPU´s as now in Hyper-V 2016 we can have a VM with 240 vCPU´s and 12 TB of ram, but that cannot be done 🙁

We have also updated with the latest SCVMM CU4 but still no success! Neither via GUI or via PowerShell!

We installed a new Preview of SCVMM 1711 to see if it was any difference and guess what! It has finally been updated but we would much rather see it also comming in a CU in the near time for VMM 2016 as we cannot deploy a preview of the semianual into production..

The gui also have been updated for a hardware profile where it clearly states that it has to be a gen2 vm and also the OS cannot be lower than 2016 for both host and vm

 

Windows Server 2016 “Core” in Azure with a [small disk]

As it is known we should use Windows Server 2016 foremost and as often as it is possible and try to not use with a “Desktop Experience” unless it is really necessary! Of course it makes total sense if you are deploying a RDS solution but if you deploy a AD DC and file servers then naaaee….

In Azure it is not just called Windows Server 2016 and searching in the marketplace you can see that there the name core is the denominator

And it kind of make sense that the Server without GUI can and should use the Small disk option that is to be used with the new managed disks so you have to dig a bit deeper and search for small and then you find those:

Deploying with CLI or powershell with a template need the right SKU to get the core :

Unfortunately Azure have the core as a name but should instead use the “Desktop Experience” on the other one instead so it was consistent with the install of regular OS deployments in a datacenters..

And the system drive is 30 GB large

happy deploying!

 

Altaro VM Backup with support for Windows Server 2016

I have been trying out the Altaro VM Backup in my lab. It is a Backup solution that have been around for quite a while but also got support for VMware which was not part of the product in the start! Quite a few companies have both Hyper-V and VMware and having different backup solutions is not viable and place a burdon on the backup admins!

They have several very nice features:

Backup and Replication features

  • Drastically reduce backup storage requirements on both local and offsite locations, and therefore significantly speed up backups with Altaro’s unique Augmented Inline Deduplication process
  • Back up live VMs by leveraging Microsoft VSS with Zero downtime
  • Full support for Cluster Shared Volumes & VMware vCenter
  • Offsite Backup Replication for disaster recovery protection
  • Compression and military grade Encryption
  • Schedule backups the way you want them
  • Specify backup retention policies for individual VMs
  • Back up VMs to multiple backup locations

Restore & Recovery features

  • Instantly boot any VM version from the backup location without affecting backup integrity.
  • Browse through your Exchange VM backup’s file system and restore individual emails
  • Granular Restore Options for full VM or individual files or emails
  • Retrieve individual files directly from your VM backups with a few clicks.
  • Fast OnePass Restores
  • Restore an individual or a group of VMs to a different host
  • Restore from multiple points in time rather than just ‘the most recent backup’
  • Restore Clones

They do also have a REST api that can be utilized for automation which in todays world is a requirement for most business because of their standardisation and automation work to get better quality and speed.

The VM Backup Installation and configuration

It is very easy to get started with Altaro VM Backup.

And once finished you can start the management console to configure the backups and also the repositories

The console is very easy to find your way around in and configure advanced settings

For the trial there are no limits so you can test it for all your VM´s in 30 days. You can also download the Free Hyper-V Backup or the VMware version. You will be able to back up 2 VMs for free forever.

Altaro has still a license that is not bound to cores or cpu and uses a host license instead!

Lets try to get SMB1 to die …. at least in my lab..

This last weekend there have been quite a buzz about the ransomware that been spreading like the plague based on the fact that there are still so many unpatched servers and clients running windows from the stone age. We can also discuss for a while why in Windows 10 and Windows server 2016 the SMB1 protocol is still enabled and needs to be turned off? One alternative could have been to say that if you want to use this 30 year protocol you would need to enable it and thus knowing the risk and taking that into account when deciding for the legacy track

One way of beeing safe is to of course turn of the computer but that works how long?

In my lab environment I have the luck to only use WIndows 2012 R2 and above, I need to get the computers from the AD and also remove the FS-SMB1 role. The quickest way is to just disable the SMB1 protocol, you know there are users in an ordinary world that kind of does not want servers to be restarted whenever and removing the feature does need a reboot…  So first disable the protocol now and then remove the role when it is time to do the magic reboot

 

Replace a AD DC without gui and using PowerShell Direct

So in my home lab I had a DC going out of time (it was a technical preview of 2016) and needed to be replaced and I wanted to do it the right way and not login to the console/gui on the actual DC to it once during the removal and deploy of a new one!

So firstly I had to decommission it as a DC and then I created a new image from the media

After this I started the new DC-VM, to use the PowerShell Direct I had to activate the “Guest Service Interface”. one cool thing is when using PowerShell direct I can set the IP address on the NIC within the VM without getting disconnected as I would have been otherwise if using a ordinary powershell remoting session!

When the DCPromo was successfull I could check on the node that it was replicating okay

Looking at the deployment of Azurestack it is during the process utilizing PowerShell Direct and it is a killer feature 😀

Happy PowerShelling!

Updating Pester module to 4.0.2

I was going to do some Operational Testing development in an environment and did see that the new Pester 4.0.2 RC had been released on the PowerShell Gallery!

Woop Niiice, but ey I had already on my newly provisioned Windows Server 2016 the version 3.4.0 of the module and when trying to install from the gallery it complains about the catalog signing..

I wanted to uninstall the 3.4.0 but that one had not been installed with the PowerShell Get so I could not use the Uninstall-Module -Name Pester

So I used the Remove-Item instead, looking at the module base path I could use that one for removal of the folder and files of the 3.4.0 module and then install the 4.0.2

Now back to creating some lovely test files but this time with the 4.0.2 RC version 🙂

VMM 2012 R2 support for Windows Server 2016 guest OS

So I am working on a customer and their path of upgrading to 2016 versions. The first step was to make sure that the VMM 2012 R2 server was updated to latest UR and that I can deploy guest vm´s with 2016.

After the update of VMM to UR11 I checked the list of OS,

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-11-00-48

So to be able to see the 2016 as a guest OS i have to add a hotfix and that took some time but what ever you do, do not cancel but wait and wait and wait and the never ending progress bar will eventually go away 😉 . And yes you have to add one hotfix for the console and one for the vmm server!

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-11-33-19

And once that is applied,

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-11-43-52

Good luck in your upgrading story !