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

Category: System Center

Azure Automation PowerShell ISE Add-on

Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on

Microsofts Joe Levy (Program Manager, Azure Automation) just announced in the blog post a new PowerShell ISE add-on for Azure Automation: Announcing the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on. the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on helps you if you are writing PowerShell runbooks for Azure Automation:

In Azure Automation, runbook authoring is typically done in the Azure portal, using our browser-based experience. However, in experimenting with ways to improve our runbook authoring process, we developed a new, open-source tool for runbook authoring – the (take a deep breath) Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on!

This project has been in the works for a while and is already used by many of our customers. Now we think it’s finally ready for more exposure and usage. We built this experience because we observed two things:

Our customers heavily use the PowerShell ISE when writing PowerShell
They even use the PowerShell ISE when writing runbooks, copy/pasting back and forth with the portal or importing/exporting with the PowerShell cmdlets
So we thought, why not create an Azure Automation experience that builds on top of this powerful tool? If you’re interested in speeding up your runbook authoring process using tools you’re already familiar with, we hope you’ll give the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on a try!

Installation is very easy, you can get the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on from the PowerShell Gallery:

Install the PowerShell Add-on:

If you want the PowerShell ISE to always automatically load the add-on:

If you just want to load the add-on if you need it run:

 

For more information check out Joe Levy blog post on the Azure blog: Announcing the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on



SCU Europe 2015 Azure Pack

You can now watch my System Center Universe Europe 2015 Sessions on Channel9

Great news today, some of my sessions I did at System Center Universe Europe 2015 in Basel, are now available on Microsoft Channel9. You can watch them directly on Channel9 with a lot of other great sessions from SCU Europe 2015, or you can just watch them here:

Nano Server the next generation of Cloud Server in your datacenter

In this session we will walk you through how Nano Server is changing the fundamental way we look at fabric Servers and workloads. Nano Server will change the way we build servers and solve fundamental challenges which we have encountered over the pact years embracing cloud fundamentals. Speaking together with Kristian Nese (Microsoft MVP)

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 for Hyper-V


With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft adds again exiting features to its Virtualization Platform. Learn in this session what Shielded VMs, Rolling Cluster Upgrades, Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper converged, PowerShell Direct, Windows Containers, and much more is and how you can profit from these new technologies. Speaking together with Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP)

Azure Site Recovery, 365 days later

Disaster Recovery, everyone talks about it – everyone claims they have it! But does it really work as expected?! Join us in the session about Azure Site Recovery, the business continuity service from Microsoft for all cloud platforms, on-premise – service providers – public cloud. You will learn how your company or customers can use ASR in their datacenter and which new scenarios have been added in the last 365 days, since we presented this topic at SCU 2014. Speaking together with Michel Lüscher (Microsoft)

Are ITIL and System Center BFFs?


In the modern world where organizations are facing new challenges to be more competitive, they are looking for better ways to improve the quality and efficiency of their IT Service delivery using the ITIL framework. Gain valuable insights and best practices on how you can adopt the ITIL framework to Microsoft System Center and OMS from real world experiences together with Savision, Jonas Lenntun, CEO and Solution Architect at Approved Consulting, and Microsoft MVPs: Robert Hedblom, Kristian Nese, Kevin Greene and Thomas Maurer.

 



Azure Stack

Hardware requirements for Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview (POC)

Jeffery Snover (Microsoft Techical Fellow) just announced that they will release a PoC (Proof of Concept) of Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview soon, which you can run in your datacenter to test Microsoft Azure Stack. Microsoft also released the Hardware requirements for Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview (POC) deployment.

 

Azure Stack PoC Hardware

Storage:

Data disk drive configuration: All data drives must be of the same type (SAS or SATA) and capacity.  If SAS disk drives are used, the disk drives must be attached via a single path (no MPIO, multi-path support is provided)
HBA configuration options:
     1. (Preferred) Simple HBA
2. RAID HBA – Adapter must be configured in “pass through” mode
3. RAID HBA – Disks should be configured as Single-Disk, RAID-0
Supported bus and media type combinations

  •          SATA HDD
  •          SAS HDD
  •          RAID HDD
  •          RAID SSD (If the media type is unspecified/unknown*)
  •          SATA SSD + SATA HDD**
  •          SAS SSD + SAS HDD**

* RAID controllers without pass-through capability can’t recognize the media type. Such controllers will mark both HDD and SSD as Unspecified. In that case, the SSD will be used as persistent storage instead of caching devices. Therefore, you can deploy the Microsoft Azure Stack POC on those SSDs.

** For tiered storage, you must have at least 3 HDDs.

Example HBAs: LSI 9207-8i, LSI-9300-8i, or LSI-9265-8i in pass-through mode


Webinar PowerShell Scripting and Automation for Hyper-V

Recording: Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM now available

Last week I had the chance to do a Webinar together with Altaro about Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM. Now you can watch the recording from this online webinar.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) provides some great automation benefits for those organizations that can afford the hefty price tag. However, if SCVMM isn’t a cost effective solution for your business, what are you to do? While VMM certainly makes automation much easier, you can achieve a good level of automation with PowerShell and the applicable PowerShell modules for Hyper-V, clustering, storage, and more.

Are you looking to get grips with automation and scripting?

Join Thomas Maurer, Microsoft Datacenter and Cloud Management MVP, who will use this webinar to show you how to achieve automation in your Hyper-V environments, even if you don’t have SCVMM.

Remember, any task you have to do more than once, should be automated. Bring some sanity to your virtual environment by adding some scripting and automation know-how to your toolbox.

 



Webinar PowerShell Scripting and Automation for Hyper-V

Webinar: Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM

There are some great Webinars coming up and I am proud to speak in one of them with Andrew Syrewicze (Altaro Software and Microsoft MVP) about PowerShell Scripting and Automation in Hyper-V.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) provides some great automation benefits for those organizations that can afford the hefty price tag. However, if SCVMM isn’t a cost effective solution for your business, what are you to do? While VMM certainly makes automation much easier, you can achieve a good level of automation with PowerShell and the applicable PowerShell modules for Hyper-V, clustering, storage, and more.

Are you looking to get grips with automation and scripting?

Join Thomas Maurer, Microsoft Datacenter and Cloud Management MVP, who will use this webinar to show you how to achieve automation in your Hyper-V environments, even if you don’t have SCVMM.

Remember, any task you have to do more than once, should be automated. Bring some sanity to your virtual environment by adding some scripting and automation know-how to your toolbox.

We’re live on Thursday, 10th December 2015 at 10am EST / 4PM CET (30-45mins + live Q&A!)

Register for the webinar here

Free Webinar about Scripting & Automation in Hyper-V without SCVMM

 



Windows Server 2016 core licenses

Windows Server 2016 Licensing and Pricing

Last night Microsoft released more information about Windows Server 2016. We already got some interesting technical feature information such as Hyper-V, Containers, Nano Server and much more. This is the first time Microsoft is talking about Windows Server 2016 licensing.

Let’s start first with a disclaimer here: All information on the blog are coming from the Microsoft papers released in December 2015. The information maybe change in the future or are not correct written on my blog. This blog post just wants to give you a little consolidated overview about the licensing changes. If you want to make sure you will be licensed correctly, connect with Microsoft and/or Microsoft Partner.

Microsoft still will have two version of Windows Server 2016 with Datacenter and Standard edition, as they had in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. There are two big changes in licensing of Windows Server 2016. For Windows Server 2016 Microsoft is changing from a per-processor licensing to per-core licensing for Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter Editions. And the second big change is that there is no feature parity between Standard Edition and Datacenter Edition. In Windows Server 2012 R2 you basically had the same features in both editions and the only difference were Virtual Machine use rights. (Except for one feature called Automatic Virtual Machine Activation.) There is also some interesting scenarios for hybrid cloud deployments using the Azure hybrid use benefit.

I picked some of the interesting parts out of the Microsoft released papers:

Windows Server 2016 Editions:

  • Datacenter Edition for highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments.
  • Standard Edition for non-virtualized or lightly virtualized environments.
  • Information about other editions of Windows Server 2016 and Windows Storage Server 2016 will be provided in Q1 2016

Windows Server 2016 Editions
What does the change to a Cores + CAL based licensing model bring:

To license a physical server, all physical cores must be licensed in the server. A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor in the server and a minimum of 16 cores is required to be licensed for servers with one processor.

  • The price of 16-core licenses of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Edition will be same price as the 2 proc license of the corresponding editions of the Windows Server 2012 R2 version.
  • Standard Edition provides rights for up to 2 OSEs or Hyper-V containers when all physical cores in the server are licensed. Multiple licenses can be assigned to the same cores for additional OSEs or Hyper-V containers.
  • Each user and/or device accessing a licensed Windows Server Standard or Datacenter edition requires a Windows Server CAL. Each Window Server CAL allows access to multiple licenses Windows Servers.
  • A Windows Server CAL gives a user or device the right to access any edition of Windows Server of the same or earlier version.
  • Some additional or advanced functionality such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Management Services will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL.

How to license the physical cores for Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter Editions

Windows Server 2016 core licenses

  • License all the physical cores in the server
  • Minimum of 8 core licenses required for each proc
  • Minimum of 16 core licenses required for each server
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two.
  • 8 two-core packs will be the minimum required to license each physical server.
  • The two-core pack for each edition is 1/8th the price of a two proc license for corresponding 2012 R2 editions.

FAQ:

Some information form the Microsoft FAQ;

  • How do I license Nano Server?
    Nano Server is a deployment option within Windows Server 2016. It is included as part of the licensing of the edition from which it is deployed. There is no unique or separate licensing for Nano Server.
  • Where is the information about other editions of Windows Server, Windows Storage Server, Azure Stack and other products coming next year?
    More information is coming in Q1CY16 about Azure Stack, Windows Server Essentials and the rest of the Windows Server editions and other related products.
  • Are CALs still required for Windows Server 2016?
    Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions will continue to require Windows Server CALs for every user or device accessing a server.. Some additional or advanced functionality will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL. These are CALs that you need in addition to the Windows Server CAL to access functionality, such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Management Services.
  • What are the changes for Hyper-V?
    Standard Editions still allows you to use two virtual OSEs and Datacenter allows you to use unlimited virtual OSEs, but they are now not licensed on processor or servers, they are now licensed based on cores.
  • What about Hyper-V Containers and Windows Containers?
    Hyper-V Containers are licensed the same as Hyper-V Virtual Machines. No information about Windows Containers right now.
  • How should I think about hyper-threading in the core based licensing?
    Windows Server and System Center 2016 are licensed by physical cores, not virtual cores. Therefore, customers only need to inventory and license the physical cores on their processors.
  • If processors (and therefore cores) are disabled from Windows use, do I still need to license the cores?
    If the processor is disabled for use by Windows, the cores on that processor do not need to be licensed. For example, if 2 processors in a 4 processor server (with 8 cores per processor) were disabled and not available for Windows Server use, only 16 cores would need to be licensed. However, disabling hyper threading or disabling cores for specific programs does not relieve the need for a Windows Server license on the physical cores.
  • I read that Windows Server 2016 will support nested virtualization-a VM running inside a VM. How do you license that scenario?
    Windows Server 2016 Datacenter licensing allows for unlimited virtualization and so would easily cover this scenario. Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition licensing is for low to no virtualization scenarios and supports up to two virtual machines. A virtual machine running inside a virtual machine counts as two virtual machines from licensing perspective.

You can get more information about the next version of Windows Server on the Windows Server 2016 website. And the following resources:

 



System Center Universe Europe

Session Recordings from System Center Universe Europe 2015

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to speak at System Center Universe Europe 2015 in Basel. I had the chance to speak in 4 sessions about the latest and greatest Microsoft technology solutions. You can check out my conference recap here on my blog post: System Center Universe Europe 2015 – Recap. A couple of days ago System Center Universe Europe made the session recordings available online.

Nano Server the next generation of Cloud Server in your datacenter

In this session we will walk you through how Nano Server is changing the fundamental way we look at fabric Servers and workloads. Nano Server will change the way we build servers and solve fundamental challenges which we have encountered over the pact years embracing cloud fundamentals. Speaking together with Kristian Nese (Microsoft MVP)

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 for Hyper-V

With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft adds again exiting features to its Virtualization Platform. Learn in this session what Shielded VMs, Rolling Cluster Upgrades, Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper converged, PowerShell Direct, Windows Containers, and much more is and how you can profit from these new technologies. Speaking together with Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP)

Azure Site Recovery, 365 days later

Disaster Recovery, everyone talks about it – everyone claims they have it! But does it really work as expected?! Join us in the session about Azure Site Recovery, the business continuity service from Microsoft for all cloud platforms, on-premise – service providers – public cloud. You will learn how your company or customers can use ASR in their datacenter and which new scenarios have been added in the last 365 days, since we presented this topic at SCU 2014. Speaking together with Michel Lüscher (Microsoft)

Are ITIL and System Center BFFs?

In the modern world where organizations are facing new challenges to be more competitive, they are looking for better ways to improve the quality and efficiency of their IT Service delivery using the ITIL framework. Gain valuable insights and best practices on how you can adopt the ITIL framework to Microsoft System Center and OMS from real world experiences together with Savision, Jonas Lenntun, CEO and Solution Architect at Approved Consulting, and Microsoft MVPs: Robert Hedblom, Kristian Nese, Kevin Greene and Thomas Maurer.