Tag: Windows Server 2008 R2

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.

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.



Windows Server

Recommend Hotfixes and Updates for Hyper-V and Failover Clusters

I the last couple of releases I always posted the pages where you could get the list of Recommended Hotfixes and Updates for Windows Server 2012 Failover Clusters and List of Hyper-V and Failover Cluster Hotfixes for Windows Server 2012. I want to upgrade the post with the links for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. So you can find all updates from a single site.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2008 R2

Feel free to share this page and I always recommend to get the latest hotfixes when you are deploying a new Hyper-V or Scale-Out File Server environment. And definitely check also Aidan Finns blog from time to time where he does some deeper look at the Knowledge Base articles for Hyper-V.

 



Migrate Hyper-V Cluster to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V via Cluster Migration Wizard

Windows Server 2012 Logo

If you have already an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster and you want to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 you have two options. The first one is by moving all virtual machines via System Center Virtual Machine Manager from the old Cluster into a new cluster. The second way to do it, is to use the Cluster Migration Wizard which is part of Windows Server 2012.

In my case I have two clusters one “old” Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster and my new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V cluster. Both Clusters are fully configured and both have access to the same disks/LUNs. The disk and all the VMs are running on the old cluster.

On the new cluster you can start the Cluster Migration Wizard.

Failover Cluster Manager Migrate Roles

This will bring up the Cluster Migration Wizard. The wizard will ask you about the old cluster.

Cluster Migration Wizard Old Cluster

The Cluster Migration Wizard will scan the old cluster for CSVs and Cluster roles. You have to select the Cluster Shared Volume you want to migrate to the new cluster. Note: you can only migrate CSVs including all virtual machines running on this CSV and not just single virtual machines. If you want to migrate single virtual machines you could do a Hyper-V Export/Import or using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Cluster Migration Wizard Old Cluster Roles

Since the Cluster Migration Wizard detects the roles as Hyper-V virtual machines he also asks for the new Hyper-V Virtual Switch.

Cluster Migration Wizard Hyper-V Virtual Switch

You get a quick summary with all the information what the Migration Wizard will do, and you can migrate all roles. This means the Migration Wizard will create all cluster roles on the new cluster but will not take the existing VMs offline the VMs at this point are still running on the old cluster. You also get a Failover Cluster Migration Report at the end.

Failover Cluster Migration Report

This report also shows you what’s next:

All the clustered services and applications selected for migration were migrated successfully. You may now take the clustered services and applications offline in your old cluster. Also take offline Cluster Shared Volumes used by any migrated roles, as well as storage pools for virtual disks used by any migrated roles. Then these disks, Cluster Shared Volumes, and clustered services and applications can be brought online in your new cluster.

In the new cluster you can now see the roles which are all turned of because there are still running on the old cluster. And you can also see the CSV which is offline on the new cluster and online on the old cluster.

Failover Cluster Migration new roles

As already mentioned we had no downtime until now. Now you can go and shutdown all the virtual machines running on your old cluster and take the migrated CSV offline.

Failover Cluster Migration shutdown VMS

Take the CSV offline

Failover Cluster Migration take CSV offline

On the new cluster bring the CSV online

Failover Cluster Migration bring CSV online

Bring the virtual machines on the new cluster back online.

Failover Cluster Migration bring VMs back online

And this is more how you can migrate a cluster. Remember there are still some tasks left.

There is also a great video from Symon Perriman and Rob Hindman, a Program Manager on the Windows Server Clustering & High-Availability team, in which they explain how you can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

 



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


How to make an existing Hyper-V Virtual Machine Highly Available

Windows Server 2012 Logo

If you have a running Hyper-V Virtual Machine with is not part of a cluster you can make this virtual machine highly available via the Failover Cluster Manager. First of all the Virtual Machine has to be stored on a shared storage. In Windows Server 2008 R2 this means the Virtual Machine and the attached Virtual Disks had to be stored on a Cluster Shared Volume (C:\ClusterStorage\…), with Windows Server 2012 the VM could also be stored on a SMB 3.0 file share.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Make Virtual Machine Highly Available

And there is also a big difference in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. In Windows Server 2008 R2 the Virtual Machine had to be offline during you add the VM to the Cluster, and in Windows Server 2012 you can do this online.

First open the Failover Cluster Manager and right click on your Cluster Name in the menu select “Configure Role”

Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster Manager Configure Role

This started the High Availability Wizard. First select the role you want to make high available, in the Hyper-V case this is “Virtual Machine”.

Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster Manager High Availability Wizard

Now select the Virtual Machine you want to add to the cluster. Note: In Windows Server 2012 the Virtual Machine can be online, in Windows Server 2008 R2 the Virtual Machine had to be offline.

Select Virtual MachineAfter clicking next on the wizard, you the VMs will be added to the Failover Cluster.

Btw. thanks to Philipp Witschi (itnetx), who I now owe a dinner.

 



SCVMM 2012 Hyper-V Bare-Metal Deployment on Cisco UCS C200

System Center Logo

System Center Virtual Machine Manager brings a cool new feature called Bare Metal Deployment. This feature allows deploying new Hyper-V hosts via Out-of-Band Management (IPMI or SMASH) with the Virtual Machine Manager. In my lab environment I use Cisco UCS C200 M2 servers as my Hyper-V servers but this guide will also work with servers from other vendors such as HP, IBM or Dell.

Deployment Process

 

  1. SCVMM boots up Bare-Metal Server via OBM
  2. Send PXE Boot requests
  3. WDS asks SCVMM for authorize PXE boot
  4. SCVMM approves
  5. Boot Windows PE
  6. Run pre GCE scripts to configure Raid and other settings
  7. Copy the VHD from VMM Library
  8. Get drivers
  9. Run post GCE scripts to do additional configurations
  10. Doing post configuration
  11. Domain join
  12. Adding server to the resource pool


Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Release Candidate

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Back in April Microsoft announced the beta version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator. The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter allows you to migrate your VMware vSphere Virtual Machines to your brand new Microsoft Hyper-V environment.

Today the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Release Candidate is available for testing. The best thing at the RC is the support of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012, but there are also other new capabilities.

New in the Release Candidate

In addition to the capabilities that were delivered as part of the beta release, the MVMC Release Candidate:

  • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts running:
  • Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Release Candidate
  • Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V
  • Configures dynamic memory on the converted virtual machine
  • Supports migration of virtual machines that are hosted on a vSphere cluster
  • Supports migration of virtual machines to a Hyper-V host that is part of a failover cluster
  • Enables Microsoft partners to cobrand the tool so that it incorporates their logos

Check it out on Microsoft Connect: https://connect.microsoft.com/site14/MVMC

 



Cisco UCS C200 M2 – Microsoft Hyper-V

Cisco UCS C200 M2 Hardware

For my Lab I could buy some Cisco UCS C200 M2 rack servers. Of course I am running Hyper-V on my lab servers to get the most out of it, and I am very happy with the performance of the Cisco UCS standalone servers.

C200 BIOS Settings

 

But still I did some changes in the BIOS settings to get some more performance.

Processor Configuration:

  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology: enabled
  • Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology: enabled
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology: enabled
  • Number of Enabled Cores: All
  • Execute Disable: Enabled
  • Intel Virtualization Technology: enabled
  • Intel VT for Directed IO: enabled
  • Intel VT-d Interrupt Remapping: enabled
  • Intel VT-D Coherency Support: enabled
  • Intel VT-d Address Translation Services: enabled
  • Intel VT-d PassThrough DMA: enabled
  • Direct Cache Access: enabled
  • Processor C3 Report: disabled
  • Processor C6 Report: disabled
  • CPU Performance: High Throughput
  • Hardware Prefetcher: enabled

Memory Configuration:

  • NUMA Optimized: enabled


Windows Server 2012 NIC Naming

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

Some weeks ago I wrote a blog post how you can configure Network Adapters on a Hyper-V host via PowerShell. I mentioned that the NICs in Windows Server 2008 R2 are always named differently. Now I have some great news in Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate this has changed.

Windows Server 2012 NICs Server Manager

Some hours ago I installed one of my Cisco UCS C200 servers with the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate. And I realized the new naming of the network adapters.

Windows Server 2012 NICs

Now I run my Get-NICInformation.ps1 PowerShell script to get some more information about this.

Windows Server 2012 NICs PCI Slot order

It looks like the new naming is done by PCI slot order because I don’t think Cisco supports Consistent Device Naming yet. Anyway this is great news for all the Hyper-V guys out there.

If you wonder, the order in my case is Ethernet 1 Port 1 to Port 4 are the 4 Quadport Intel NIC and Ethernet 2 Port 1 and Port 2 are the build-in ports.

Two more things, first the PowerShell script which I used to configure the network adapters from a XML file stills works fine. To check this and make the screenshots for this blog post I had to install my Hyper-V Hosts twice, so please share this post ;-)

 



System Center 2012 Unified Installer – Step by Step – Part 2

Microsoft System Center Logo

In my first post about the System Center 2012 Unified Installer I wrote about the prerequisites you need, to do a System Center 2012 deployment with the Unified Installer. In the second part I will write how you have to prepare the Installer and the Target servers.

It’s still important: Neither the System Center Unified Installer nor this guide is made to deploy the System Center Suite in production. It is only for lab or demo environments.

In my case I created two OUs to deploy my small lab. One for the Installer Computer and one for all the System Center servers. And I created some GPOs to save some time.

SC2012 InstallerSC2012 ServersSC2012 Servers GPO

 

Preparing the Installer Computer for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer

  1. First I installed a Server with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the installer Computer and installed all the patches which came with Windows Updates.
  2. Now you have to do some configuration of WinRM. You can do this via Group Policy or CMD commands.
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials (Enabled with the value: “WSMAN/*” and Concatenate OS defaults with input above selected)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials with NTLM-only Server Authentication (Enabled with the value: “WSMAN/*” and Concatenate OS defaults with input above selected)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WRM) / WinRm Client / Allow CredSSP authentication (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WRM) / WinRm Client / Trusted Hosts (Enabled with a * in the TrustedHostsList option)
    SC2012 Installer GPO
  3. You could also run the following comands
    winrm set winrm/config/client/auth @{CredSSP="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts="*"}
    winrm qc
  4. Now you you have to open some Firewall ports, you can do this also via Group Policy or in the local Windows Firewall settings.
    Create a new Inbound role for the following ports:
    TCP 81
    TCP 1433
    UDP 1434
    ICMP v4
    Because it is a demo or lab Environment you could also disable the Firewall

On the User’s Guide for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer you can get more Information how you can prepare the Installer Computer.

Preparing a Target Servers for System Center 2012 Components

  1. First I installed a Server with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the installer Computer and installed all the patches which came with Windows Updates.
  2. Like for the Installer Computer we also have to create some GPOs for the Target Servers.
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow automatic configuration of listeners (Enabled and the for the values of IPv4 filter and IPv6 filter type *)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow CredSSP authentication (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Allow Remote Shell Access (Enabled)
    Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Specify maximum amount of memory in MB per Shell (Enabled and set MaxMemoryPerShellMB to 2048)
    SC2012 SC Servers GPOYou could also run the following commands on the target servers.

    winrm qc -q
    winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{CredSSP="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{AllowRemoteShellAccess="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{MaxMemoryPerShellMB="2048"}

Create Installer User and Service Users

SC2012 Service Accounts

 

I also created a Service Users for every System Center product, you could also just use the same user account for all products.

  • svc-sc2012-scvmm
  • svc-sc2012-scac
  • svc-sc2012-sco
  • svc-sc2012-scom
  • svc-sc2012-sccm
  • svc-sc2012-scsm
  • svc-sc2012-scdpm

SC2012 Installer Account

 

And I created a Installer User which has local Administrator rights on every machine. You also have to login to your Installer Computer and run the System Center Unified Installer with this account.

  • sc2012-installer

This was the last preperation post, in the next post the “Fun” Begins and we can fire up the System Center 2012 – Unified Installer