Category: Windows Server 2008

Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be out of extended support within the next 12 months (detailed dates below). This means if you have these versions, you’ll need to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server or Windows Server or buy Extended Support soon to maintain support and receive security updates and fixes. Buying Extended Support is not cheap. Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for 75 percent of the full license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server. A lot of customers should start migrating to newer versions of these products to avoid these extra costs.

Extended Support dates

  • Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019.
  • Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

However, in mid-2018 Microsoft announced a new option for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support. Customers running 2008 or 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure virtual machines will get Extended Security Updates for free. This will give customers some extra time to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. Or even better, to Azure PaaS and serverless computing like Azure Functions.

The great thing about this is that you can also combine this with your Azure Hybrid benefits, to use your SQL Server and Windows Server on Azure with your on-premise licenses.

Extended Security Updates on Azure Stack

If you are thinking to migrate to the cloud, this new option will bring down costs for you. However, not everyone is fully ready to move all their servers to the public cloud. You might still need or want to run some servers on-premise in your datacenter. This will leave you with buying Extended Support or what a lot of people don’t know; you can also run your SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack and get Extended Security Updates for free since it is Azure!

This is great, especially since Azure Stack also comes with great IaaS capabilities. And if you are thinking about using Azure in the mid-term, Azure Stack provides you with Azure capabilities, but still allows you to stay in your datacenter.



cmd clip

Pipe cmd prompt commands into the clipboard

This is a very all but very useful command if you work with the Windows Command Prompt. This allows you to output text from commands into the Windows clipboard.

Scott Hanselman from Microsoft just reminded the community about this feature, which is available in Windows since Windows Vista.

PowerShell v5 got some similar command using Set-Clipboard and Get-Clipboard.



Azure Backup Agent

How to Backup a Windows Client to Microsoft Azure

Today Microsoft announced that Microsoft Azure Backup now not only supports Windows Server or System Center Data Protection Manager, it also support Windows Clients, including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

To backup your Windows Client machine you have to go to the Azure Portal and create a new Backup Vault.

Create Azure Backup Vault

After that you have to download and install the Microsoft Azure Backup agent and the vault credentials which are needed to register the machine to your Backup Vault.

Azure Backup Agent

Now during the installation of the Azure Backup Agent you have to use the vault credential file to register your server. There are two different ways of registering machines to the backup vaults that store data:

  • Option #1: Register one machine per backup vault. The backup vault is created under Recovery Services in your Azure subscription. Please be aware that only 25 backup vaults can be created per subscription using this option. If you have more machines to backup to Azure, please use the second option.
  • Option #2: Register multiple machines to the same vault. This enables up to 50 machines to be registered with a single backup vault.

In both the options, access to the backup data is controlled using an encryption passphrase. At the time of registering a machine to a backup vault, an encryption passphrase is provided by the user – and this is used to encrypt and decrypt the data being backed up. With different encryption passphrases being used for different machines, isolation is guaranteed.

 

In both the options, access to the backup data is controlled using an encryption passphrase. At the time of registering a machine to a backup vault, an encryption passphrase is provided by the user – and this is used to encrypt and decrypt the data being backed up. With different encryption passphrases being used for different machines, isolation is guaranteed.

Azure Client Backup

Now you can see your machine in the Azure Portal in the recovery vault. After the Agent is installed you can launch the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent to configure your backup.

Microsoft Azure Backup

After the first Backup is done, you can also start recovering data from Azure.

Azure Backup Recover Data

Some notes:

  • If you are running Azure Backup on your notebook or tablet, the backup will only run if the computer is not on battery mode. If your notebook is running on battery the backup will run the next time the machine is connected to a power source.
  • If you pick the backup time of your machine make sure the machine is not shutdown during that time.


Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

Veeam Announces Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

This week I had the chance to be in Las Vegas at the VeeamON 2014 conference and so far it was an absolutely great event, but I will write about that in another blog post. Veeam also did announce the Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE which allows you to backup not only Windows based notebooks, tablets and desktops, it also allows you to backup physical Windows Server machines, which will make a lot of people very happy. Veeam points out that this will be a free release of a standalone product which will not be integrated in to the Veeam Suite. This means there will be no central management console which kind of makes it not useful for large scale deployments. But for highly virtualized environments this can be a great solution to backup a few of your remaining physical servers.

One More Thing

A beta version of Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will be released in November and Veeam is looking for feedback. If you want to know more about it checkout Mike Resseler’s (Product Strategy Specialist for Veeam and Microsoft MVP) blog post.

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free



Hyper-V Host Patching – Cluster Aware Updading vs. Virtual Machine Manager Fabric Patching

Windows Server 2012 Logo

In the past weeks I was giving a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V workshop to customers and as we went to the Hyper-V host management I talked about how you can update your Hyper-V infrastructure and how you can automatically update your Hyper-V cluster.

If we do not think about System Center Orchestrator we have basically two solutions to fully upgrade our Hyper-V clusters first is the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Fabric Patching which is available since System Center 2012. The second one is a new one called Cluster Aware Updating which is included in Windows Server 2012.

Both solutions do basically the same thing and using the same concept:

  1. Scanning the Hyper-V host for updates
  2. Putting the first node in maintenance mode and pause the node in the cluster
  3. Moving all virtual machines to other nodes of the cluster
  4. Installing the patches
  5. rebooting the server
  6. checking if all services are up again
  7. stop the maintenance mode
  8. start doing the same with the next node

This is basically what both solutions are doing, but there are small differences between them and both have advantages and disadvantages.

Cluster Aware Updating (CAU)

  • Moving not only virtual machines to other nodes, it does also move other cluster roles and cluster disks to other nodes
  • Cluster Aware Updating can use different update sources (Windows Update, Microsoft Update, WSUS, SCCM,…)
  • You can apply hotfixes via CAU
  • Cluster Aware Updating has APIs for third party vendors
  • You can do driver or firmware updates via CAU
  • You can schedule it via Self-Updating mode
  • Run pre- and post-scripts
  • Update Approval process over WSUS or SCCM
  • Only supporting Windows Server 2012
  • Coordination via cluster role

System Center Virtual Machine Manager

  • Does only move virtual machines to other nodes
  • Needs a WSUS server where the updates come from
  • Only updates which can be installed via WSUS
  • Virtualization (Fabric) Administrator will create update baselines and approve updates
  • Not third-party integration
  • Log – logs which administrator approved the updates
  • Integration in System Center Operations Manager, sets host in maintenance mode on SCOM so no alerts are generated.
  • Role based update management
  • Supports Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
  • Coordination via Virtual Machine Manager

Both solution do a great job and can of course be extended by using Windows PowerShell, System Center Orchestrator or third-party products.

The two main differences are Windows Server 2012 Cluster Aware Updating is definitely the newer solution with extensibility for third-party solutions with support for other cluster roles not just Hyper-V. Where System Center Virtual Machine is the clear winner, is where you have security roles in place and you need logs and other security features. And System Center Virtual Machine Manager has also a connection to System Center Operations Manager which lets you set Hyper-V nodes to maintenance mode.



Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App

I know for a lot of people this is not something new, but in the courses I presented in the past weeks I always mentioned this great Windows 8 App called Server Posterpedia.

Server PosterPedia

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 Server Posterpedia for free in the Windows Store: Server Posterpedia


MCSE: Private Cloud

MCSE: Private Cloud

Yesterday I passed the Microsoft exam 70-246: Monitoring and Operating Private Cloud with System Center 2012. And I can now finally call myself a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert for Private Cloud or MCSE: Private Cloud.

The new (reborn) Microsoft Certifications MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) were first shown at the Microsoft Management Summit this year.

At the moment there are the following certifications public

Private Cloud (System Center)

For the MCSE: Private Cloud you have to do the following

MCSE: Private Cloud

Windows Server

SQL Server

Now I am not the first one here in Switzerland who passed these exams, for example Marcel Zehner and Michel Lüscher did the exams at exams at MMS 2012 in Las Vegas and they got the results last week. Congrats guys 😉