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!

Finding Windows 10 ink workspace button..

I have an Dell with Windows 10 Enterprise through work and did not see the ink workspace in the taskbar as I do in my WIndows 10 Pro on my Surface and needed to draw something quickly

Firstly I went into the control panel but it was easier than I would suspected 🙂

just right click on the task bar and activate the “Show Windows Ink Workspace button” and then it is there for your convenience

 

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

 

AzureStack TP3 refresh deployment

Last Thursday Microsoft and the AzureStack Team released a refresh of the TP3 of AzureStack and now with more functionality:

New to App Service this release:

  • Azure Functions preview for AAD based deployments
  • Deployment in disconnected environments
  • Deployment on ADFS authenticated Azure Stack
  • Installation and deployment improvements
  • Azure Resource Manager (ARM) API version 2016-03-01 support for App Services
  • Synchronization of SKUs with Azure – i.e. Free (F1), Shared (D1), and Standard (S1, S2, S3)
  • Service reliability improvements

One advantage of being in a DC that Basefarm operates is that the bandwidth is huge and I could download the Stack-Pack very fast and it took about 7 minutes,

Then I download new Azurestack tools and configure the host for deploy and my deployment took about 5 hours:

Good luck in your deploy

 

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!

DevOpsDays Stockholm 8-9 May 2017

I wanted to update you all that I am involved in the crew behind the DevOps Days Stockholm that will be hosted for the first time in Stockholm

Maybe you have been to another DevOpsdays conference before and it will be two days of fun and networking!

Hope you will consider to buy a ticket once they will be released and if you are early you could save some dough on the early-bird price!

 

Azurestack TP3 released

So yesterday Microsoft and the Azurestack Team released the final TP3 before GA that will, based on the communicated info, be released in mid-2017

Here you can download the TP3 to try out 

info from MS blog:

What’s new in Azure Stack TP3

With Azure Stack TP3, we’ve worked with customers to improve the product through numerous bug fixes, updates, and deployment reliability & compatibility improvements from TP2. With Azure Stack TP3 customers can:

  • Deploy with ADFS for disconnected scenarios
  • Start using Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets for scale out workloads
  • Syndicate content from the Azure Marketplace to make available in Azure Stack
  • Use Azure D-Series VM sizes
  • Deploy and create templates with Temp Disks that are consistent with Azure
  • Take comfort in the enhanced security of an isolated administrator portal
  • Take advantage of improvements to IaaS and PaaS functionality
  • Use enhanced infrastructure management functionality, such as improved alerting

Shortly after TP3, Azure Functions will be available to run on TP3, followed by Blockchain, Cloud Foundry, and Mesos templates. Continuous innovation will be delivered to Azure Stack up to general availability and beyond. TP3 is the final planned major Technical Preview before Azure Stack integrated systems will be available for order in mid-CY17.

good luck!

 

A new chapter in my life: Microsoft Lead Architect @basefarm

This month I have started on a new job at Basefarm and will be in the Sweden office but also work with the rest of the company residing in Norway and Netherlands. I will take on the role as Microsoft Lead Architect and be responsible for the Microsoft Datacenter Delivery with Azure, Azure Stack and Windows Azure Pack. This will be a really exciting times with the Azure Stack on the verge to being released this year!

I will try to update the blog more frequently with findings in areas that might be interesting regarding the way to do things the best way.

We will work on being the best hybrid solution provider in the north of Europe 🙂

 

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 🙂