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

Tag: Server

New-NanoServerImage

How to create a Nano Server Image using PowerShell

Last week Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 with the first GA release of Nano Server. A couple of months back I already wrote a blog post how you can create a new Nano Server Image in Technical Preview 4. This post is an updated version of that this post using Windows Server 2016 GA. In this post I will quickly show you how you can create a new VHD, VHDX or WIM file with your Nano Server configuration.

This is the PowerShell option, you can also use the Nano Server Image Builder.

First you have to download the latest Windows Server 2016 ISO file.

NanoServer Folder

If you open the Windows Server 2016 ISO file you can see a folder called “NanoServer” on the medium. This folder includes:

  • NanoServer.wim – This is the Nano Server Image file
  • Packages – The Package folder includes the Nano Server Packages, Windows Roles and Features and some basic drivers
  • NanoServerImageGenerator – In this folder you can find the Nano Server Image Generator PowerShell Module

I usually create a folder on my C:\NanoServer to store all the things I need, which makes things a little simpler.

Create Nano Server Image Folder

  • Base – This is a temporary folder where the images get mounted while updating or creating new images
  • Drivers – This is the folder where I copy all the drivers for a physical image
  • Files – This is the unpacked Windows Server 2016 ISO image (including, the sources folder, NanoServer folder, support, boot and efi folder as well as the setup.exe file)
  • Images – In this folder I store all the new created images
  • Updates – In this folder I store the Windows Server 2016 Update cumulative updates (.cab files)
  • XMLs – In this folder I store unattend.xml files if I need to do a extended configuration.

Of course you don’t have to use this folder structure, but it makes things easier.

If you have a look at the Packages folder you can find all the available packages for Nano Server:

Nano Server Packages

A new Nano Server Image can be created using the New-NanoServerImage PowerShell cmdlet. This will create a new Nano Server Image in a VHDX including the VM Guest drivers and nothing more.

New-NanoServerImage

  • MediaPath – The location with the Windows Server 2016 files
  • BasePath – Temporary folder to mount the WIM file
  • TargetPath – Where the new Image file gets stored. You can create a .wim, .vhd or .vhdx file
    • .vhd creates a Image for a Generation 1 VM (BIOS boot)
    • .vhdx create a Image for a Generation 2 VM (UEFI boot)
  • DeploymentType allows you to choose between Guest and Host
    • Guest creates a Virtual Machine
    • Host creates a Physical Image
  • Edition can be Standard or Datacenter
  • ComputerName adds the server name of the Nano Server
  • MaxSize changes the Partition size, if you are not using this parameter it will create a default partition of 4GB

Hyper-V NanoServer VHDX

You can now copy the VHDX file from the Images folder, attach this to a new Hyper-V virtual machine and boot.

This will show the Nano Server recovery console:

Hyper-V Nano Server Console

There are more parameters to add roles and features, updates, drivers and additional configuration like IP addresses and more

For example if you want to add some updates to the Nano Server Image you can use the following cmdlet:

To add a fixed IP address you can for example use the following cmdlet:

If you have some advanced deployment you can use for example the following thing, which helps you to set different configuration options. This example here is designed for a physical Hyper-V host

You can for example use this VHDX file now to create a boot from VHDX scenario:

I hope this helps you to get started with Nano Server in Windows Server 2016. I also prepared a blog post how you can create a Nano Server Image using the Nano Server Image Builder tool.



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



Create Nano Server VHDX

How to create a Nano Server Image

Last week Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4, which includes a lot of changes and fixes. Since I had some presentations on Nano Server in the past weeks I will quickly cover how you can create a Nano Server VHD or VHDX file.

If you download the ISO with Windows Server 2016 ISO you and mount this file you can see a folder called Nano Server. In this folder you can find the NanoServer.wim file and some PowerShell scripts as well as a folder called Packages, which includes the features, roles, driver and agents for Nano Server.

I usually copy all the PowerShell scripts (and the new module) to C:\NanoServer, even if you don’t have to, but it makes it easier for me.

Nano Server on Windows Server 2016

If you have a look at the Packages folder you can find all the available packages for Nano Server:

Nano Server Packages

Now to create a new Nano Server VHD file you can use the following steps:

First go to the directory where you stored the PowerShell files, for me this would be C:\NanoServer

Import the PowerShell Module and use the command to create a new Nano Server Image

Create Nano Server VHDX

This will create a new Nano Server Image including the VM Guest drivers and nothing more. The D:\ drive still is the Windows Server Image (ISO), the Base folder is used to mount and create the temporary files and the TargetPath is where you can find the finished VHDX file. You can now create a new Virtual Machine using this VHD file.

Nano Server Hyper-V Console

Of course you can also create Nano Server including other roles:

Nano Server Container Host:

Nano Server for Apps and using a  fix IP Address and Computername

If you want to try Nano Server running in Microsoft Azure, you can also do this:

Nano Server on Azure

 



Cisco UCS C200 M2 with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 8 #HyperV

Cisco UCS and Hyper-V Enable Stateless Offloads with NVGRE

As I already mentioned I did several Hyper-V and Microsoft Windows Server projects with Cisco UCS. With Cisco UCS you can now configure stateless offloads for NVGRE traffic which is needed for Hyper-V Network Virtualization.

Cisco UCS Manager supports stateless offloads with NVGRE only with Cisco UCS VIC 1340 and/or Cisco UCS VIC 1380 adapters that are installed on servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems.

To use this you have to create Ethernet Adapter Policy, and set the Configuring an Ethernet Adapter Policy to Enable Stateless Offloads with NVGREin the Resources area:

  • Transmit Queues = 1
  • Receive Queues = n (up to 8)
  • Completion Queues = # of Transmit Queues + # of Receive Queues
  • Interrupts = # Completion Queues + 2

And in the Option area set the following settings:

  • Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation = Enabled
  • Interrupt Mode = Msi-X

Make also sure you have installed eNIC driver Version 3.0.0.8 or later.

For more information, see http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​c/​en/​us/​td/​docs/​unified_computing/​ucs/​sw/​vic_drivers/​install/​Windows/​b_​Cisco_​VIC_​Drivers_​for_​Windows_​Installation_​Guide.html.



VMware ESXi enable SSH

Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 5.5

I already wrote how you can enable SSH on a VMware ESXi 5.1VMware ESXi 5.0 and VMware ESXi 4.1. This little guide shows you how you can enable on a VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 box. As before for the other version it is pretty easy. This allows you to remote troubleshoot your VMware ESXi host and also coping files on your server.

On the start screen press F2 to “Customize System” and login with your administrator or root account.

Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 5.5

VMware ESXi 5-2014-01-11-17-29-50

After the login select Troubleshooting Options on the System Customization page.

VMware ESXi Troubleshooting options

Now you can enable SSH on your ESXi 5.5 server, and you can connect via your favorite SSH client.

VMware ESXi enable SSH

If you want to enable SSH on your VMware ESXi host directly from the vSphere client you should have a look at the following post: Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 5.5 via vSphere Client.



Server Posterpedia

Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8.1 App just updated

Some days ago Microsoft released some of the new architecture poster for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. Today Microsoft released an update in the Windows App Store for their Server Posterpedia App including the new Hyper-V 2012 R2 posters and some design changes.

Server Posterpedia is an interactive app that uses technical posters as a reference for understanding Microsoft technologies. This app includes all the reference posters from different Microsoft Server Technologies such as Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Exchange or Windows Azure. The great thing about this App, you can not only checkout the different posters and zoom in, if you click on a specific topic for you get directly linked to the right TechNet article. This can help find some TechNet references really easy and fast.

You can get the Server Posterpedia App in the Windows Store. and you can get some more information about this awesome App on my blog: Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App or on serverposterpedia.com.



How to Install VPN on Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

This post should show you how to install a VPN Server on Windows Server 2012. This post covers a VPN server for a small environment or for a hosted server scenario. This post is note made for enterprise deployments. If you want to run a VPN solution in your enterprise you should definitely look at Direct Access which is much easier to deploy in Windows Server 2012 than in Windows Server 2008 R2.

For a VPN server on Windows Server 2008 R2 check this post: How to Install VPN on Windows Server 2008 R2

  1. Install the role “Remote Access” via Server Manager or PowerShell