• Hyper-V 2016
    What's new in Hyper-V 2016
  • Microsoft Azure
    Microsoft Azure

My Hardware Recommendations for Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 Whats new in Hyper-V

My Hardware Recommendations for Windows Server 2016

Many people are right now asking me about what they have to look out for, if they are going to buy hardware for there next Windows Server 2016 deployment using Hyper-V, Storage nodes or just physical servers. Of course you should normally not just buy hardware and design the solution after that, you should create an architecture for your datacenter first and than buy hardware for your needs. But still there are several things to look out for, this is probably not easy to say right now but here are several thing I would recommend to you.

My recommendations

  • Windows Server Logo: Make really sure that hardware is certified for Windows Server and Windows Server 2016 when the certification is available
  • Network Adapters:
  • Processor / CPU
    • A 64-bit processor with second-level address translation (SLAT).
    • Of course recommend you do get the latest server grade CPUs from Intel or AMD to get the latest CPU functionalities
    • Think about the new licensing for Windows Server 2016 which will be core based
  • TPM Trusted Platform Module v2.0 – especially for the Hyper-V feature Shielded Virtual Machines or/and BitLocker support.
  • Storage
    • If you are going to deploy new Storage in your Datacenter, make sure you have a look at Storage Spaces and SMB Direct (Hyper-V over SMB) and especially the new Storage Spaces Direct feature, which I will write a bit about later this month. This also allows you to do Hyper-Converged scenarios running Storage and Hyper-V on the same physical hardware.

This are just some recommendations if I would buy new hardware I would also look at these features. Of course you don’t need all these features in every scenario, but if you want to make the most out of it, you should definitely look at them. Here are some feature related requirements:

Discrete device assignment

  • The processor must have either Intel’s Extended Page Table (EPT) or AMD’s Nested Page Table (NPT).
  • The chipset must have:
    • Interrupt remapping — Intel’s VT-d with the Interrupt Remapping capability (VT-d2) or any version of AMD I/O Memory Management Unit (I/O MMU).
    • DMA remapping — Intel’s VT-d with Queued Invalidations or any AMD I/O MMU.
    • Access control services (ACS) on PCI Express root ports.
  • The firmware tables must expose the I/O MMU to the Windows hypervisor. Note that this feature might be turned off in the UEFI or BIOS. For instructions, see the hardware documentation or contact your hardware manufacturer.

Shielded Virtual Machines

  • UEFI 2.3.1c — supports secure, measured boot
  • The following two are optional for virtualization-based security in general, but required for the host if you want the protection these features provide:
  • TPM v2.0 — protects platform security assets
  • IOMMU (Intel VT-D) — so the hypervisor can provide direct memory access (DMA) protection

for more detailed specification check out Microsoft TechNet: System requirements for Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016



PowerShell get Drvier Version

Get Installed Driver Version using PowerShell

If you are using Windows Server Core or you just want to check the driver version using PowerShell you can using the following command:

You can also filter a specific driver name using the following command:

 



Thomas Maurer Speaking

Speaking at IT/Dev Connections in Las Vegas

Today I am really proud to announce that I will be able to speak at IT/Dev Connections Conference in Las Vegas from 10-13 October 2016. Widely recognized for the depth and objectivity of its content, IT/Dev Connections training sessions teach developers and IT professionals the skills they need to do their jobs better. Its speakers include the most knowledgeable and accomplished developers, technology experts, and strategists in the industry. Covering everything from Microsoft’s roadmap and strategy to detailed best practices, these hands-on experts take attendees through the entire planning and implementation process, providing specific guidance across all perspectives.

ITDev Connections

In two break out sessions I will talk about new features in Windows Server 2016 and the Microsoft Cloud. I will also deliver a half-day pre conference workshop about Windows Server 2016, so you can learn all you need to know about the up coming Windows Server release.

Workshop

Workshop: Windows Server 2016 - Get Ready for the Next Generation of Windows Server

Monday, October 10, 2016: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Windows Server 2016 is an upcoming server operating system from Microsoft developed concurrently with Windows 10 and as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.Windows Server 2016 will be released between September 26 to 30, 2016 at Microsoft’s Ignite conference. While Ignite will provide high level overviews, Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will use this workshop at IT/Dev Connections 2016 to give you the very first chance to get instruction on how to actually use all the highly anticipated innovations and secret improvements in Windows Server 2016 including: Hyper-V 2016 Nano Server Storage Spaces Direct Storage Replica Windows Server Containers …And more!

Breakout Sessions:

Nano Server - The Future of Windows Server

Tuesday, October 11, 2016: 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM – Nano Server is the future of Windows Server. With Nano Server Microsoft created the foundation for Windows Server for the next 20 year. In this session you will get an overview about Nano Server and see some great live demos how you can deploy, manage and operate Nano Server as well as creating applications for it. Get a better understanding of Nano Server and see how you deploy, manage and operate it.

The best of Windows Server 2016: The New Foundation of your Datacenter

Wednesday, October 12, 2016: 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Join this session for the Best of Windows Server 2016 — The New Foundation of your Datacenter. You’ll be one of the first to know about new, exciting improvements that are coming in Windows Server 2016 and how they’ll improve your day-to-day job. In this hour-long presentation Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations including: •Hyper-V 2016 features •Nano Server •Storage Spaces Direct •Storage Replica •Windows Server Containers •And more!

I am really looking forward to IT/Dev Connections and hopefully see you there!

 

 

 

 



What's new in Hyper-V 2016

Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Scale Numbers

Yesterday Microsoft announced the VMware to Hyper-V Migration offer with Windows Server 2016. The Hyper-V team also announced the new scale numbers in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. Microsoft announced a Hyper-V Host will support 24TB of RAM and up to 512 CPUs, and up to 16TB and 240 virtual CPUs per Virtual Machine. This are huge number and a huge improvement to the numbers to the numbers of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2

Standard & Datacenter

Windows Server 2016 Standard & Datacenter
Physical (Host) Memory Support Up to 4 TB per physical server Up to 24 TB per physical server (6x)
Physical (Host) Logical Processor Support Up to 320 LPs Up to 512 LPs
Virtual Machine Memory Support Up to 1 TB per VM Up to 16 TB per VM (16x)
Virtual Machine Virtual Processor Support Up to 64 VPs per VM Up to 240 VPs per VM (3.75x)


VMware Switch

Microsoft’s new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft just announced a new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016. In a nutshell: If you switch from VMware to Hyper-V from during September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, you can get free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance. That ultimately means customers only pay for Software Assurance.

Microsoft also released a new TCO calculator to compare VMware and Hyper-V, which you can find here: VMware Shift

There are also a lot of great technical reasons to switch from VMware to Hyper-V. Check out my blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to get an overview about new features.

To get started just follow these steps:

To be eligible for the VMware migration offer, customers must follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Engage your account executive or sales rep to begin the process.
  • Step 2: Identify virtualized workloads to migrate and specify the Windows Server Datacenter cores required.
  • Step 3: Provide your account executive proof of eligibility. (Offer applicable to customers migrating from VMware to Microsoft).
  • Step 4: Engage your partner to start the migration process.
  • Step 5: Receive free Windows Server Datacenter licenses with Software Assurance and pay only the cost of Software Assurance to kick start your migration.

Feel free to contact us to help you switch!



GartnerMQ_Virtualization

Microsoft a leader in Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant

Year over year Microsoft is named as a leader in the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure Magic Quadrant and it gets closer and closer to VMware. Microsoft now is named again as a leader in Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant. Especially the integration with System Center and Microsoft Azure as well as the new security features in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, makes Hyper-V a strong player in the hypervisor space. Check out the Microsoft Blog post for more information or my blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V.

Gartner published the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure MQ with Microsoft landing in the Leader Quadrant for the sixth year in a row. Microsoft moved up in the ‘ability to execute’ and to the right in the ‘completeness of vision’ assessment compared with 2015. Gartner defines leaders as having a clear strategy and roadmap for offerings, understanding virtualization’s role in infrastructure and operations transformation, and having a clear vision with respect to private cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud computing.

GartnerMQ_Virtualization

Microsoft offers you to have a look at the Gartner Document here:

Download the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant



Windows Defender PowerShell

How to disable and configure Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016 using PowerShell

Windows Server 2016 comes standard with built-in Anti-Malware called Windows Defender like Windows 10 Client. And per default, Windows Defender is active and has also turned on Real-Time Protection by default. In Windows Server 2016 Desktop Experience you can disable and configure Windows Defender using the UI or PowerShell, in the Windows Server 2016 Core version or on Nano Server you only have PowerShell available. Here are some quick command how you can do this:

Check the Windows Defender Configuration and Settings:

Turn off Windows Defender Real-Time Protection using PowerShell

Turn onWindows Defender Real-Time Protection using PowerShell

Add a File path exclusion:

Add process exclusion

 

I hope this helps you to easily configure Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016. Btw. This also works on Windows Defender on Windows 10.