Tag: Server

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HPE Azure Stack

HPE OneView for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics

Today, I got some great news, which I missed in the last couple of weeks. HPE announced that their HPE OneView for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics 1.0 Preview, or short OV4ALA, is now available. OV4ALA is a integration that provides a bridge between HPE hardware infrastructure and Azure Log Analytics. This basically allows you to extend your HPE hardware monitoring to the Microsoft Cloud.

The OV4ALA is an Azure Resource Manager solutions which provides you with dashboards for your on-premises HPE hardware infrastructure. This includes systems like:

  • HPE OneView Appliances
  • Server Hardware
  • Server Profiles
  • Logical Interconnects
  • Physical Interconnects
  • Storage Systems
  • Storage Pools
  • Storage Volumes
  • SAS Interconnects
  • Drive Enclosures
  • Alerts

HPE OneView for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics Description

Every item in the dashboard provides a link to the underlying Log Analytics search query, which allows you to create powerful and detailed custom searches for long term event correlation and trend analysis.  Searches can also be combined with data from non-HPE sources, such as OS, VM, and application information. A set of pre-defined saved searches is included to help navigate the HPE log records generated by the solution.

It also includes Azure Automation runbooks that drive the automatic generation of log records from information collected from on-premise instances of HPE OneView and HPE Synergy, leveraging the Azure Hybrid Runbook Worker.

This solution requires an on-premises component (HPE PowerShell Module for Log Analytics) that must be properly installed and configured where HPE OneView and HPE Synergy are located. This module acts as a proxy between the on-premises instances of HPE OneView and HPE Synergy and Azure Log Analytics running in the Azure public cloud.

This solution is being released as a Technical Preview, and HPE does not provide any formal customer support for HPE OneView for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics at this time. This preview is provided “as-is” and is excluded from service level agreements and limited warranty. The customer assumes all risks in using this preview version. Features available in the preview are subject to change, including removal, prior to the general availability release. The fully supported generally available version is planned for later this year.

This is great news, especially when you run an HPE Azure Stack solution, which also comes with OneView. With the Azure Stack OMS Solutions you can send alerts and warnings from the Azure Stack software to Azure Log Analytics. Now with the HPE OneView for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics solution, you can also forward the HPE hardware monitoring of Azure Stack to Azure Log Analytics, which will make it a central place for your Azure Stack monitoring.

Check out more information about OV4ALA on the HPE blog. Thanks for Roland Frehner from HPE for the link.

Azure Stack Capacity Calculator

Azure Stack Capacity Calculator Tool

One of the most common questions I get when a customer decided to buy Azure Stack is, how you can calculate the sizing of your Azure Stack. He also wants to know how larger the server should be for his workloads and which Azure Stack Hardware SKU he should go for. Microsoft just released the Azure Stack Capacity Calculator (Version 1801.01). This tool will assists customers in the pre-purchase capacity planning of the Azure Stack hardware configuration. This helps you decided on how large your Azure Stack solution should be configured. This sizes server configuration and amount of servers you need to run your workloads on a Azure Stack integrated system. This also helps you in your Azure Stack Pricing Calculation.

The Azure Stack capacity planner is intended to assist in pre-purchase planning to determine appropriate capacity and configuration of Azure Stack hardware solutions.

The Azure Stack capacity planner helps you make informed decisions with respect to planning capacity in two ways: either the by selecting a hardware offering and attempting to fit a combination of resources or by defining the workload that Azure Stack is intended to run to view the available hardware SKUs that can support it. Finally, the spreadsheet is intended as a guide to help in making decisions related to Azure Stack planning and configuration.

The spreadsheet is not intended to serve as a substitute for your own investigation and analysis.  Microsoft makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided within the spreadsheet.

Azure Stack Capacity Planner

Azure Stack Resource Calculator

You can download the Azure Stack Capacity Planner from the TechNet Gallery. It is a simple to use Microsoft Excel file, where you enter your workload data. I will out put some information about the configuration you need and even allows you to compare different hardware SKUs. It will also indicate which one will be the best solution for you.

Download Azure Stack Capacity Calculator: TechNet Gallery Azure Stack Capacity Planner (Version 1801.01)



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.


  • 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.


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.


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 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.