Tag: Windows Server Core

Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 2019 – App Compatibility Feature-on-Demand

In Windows Server 2019, Microsoft is focusing on a couple of things. One of the things Microsoft wants to improve with Windows Server 2019, is the Windows Server Core experience. Bringing a great remote management experience with Windows Admin Center is one thing, the other feature which should improve the Server Core experience, is the Server Core App Compatibility feature-on-demand (FOD).

In the past, you might have some problems running an application that required a local GUI interaction on Server Core. Some of the applications you couldn’t install failed after the installation or didn’t work right. With the Server Core App Compatibility FOD, Microsoft improves this situation in Windows Server 2019 Core. FOD improves application compatibility of Windows Server Core by adding binaries and packages from Windows Server with Desktop Experience, without adding the Windows Server Desktop UI. To get more information on Feature on Demand (FOD), check out the Windows Server 2019 documentation.

Here are some Operating system components that are available within the FOD package.

  • Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc)
  • Performance Monitor (PerfMon.exe)
  • Resource Monitor (Resmon.exe)
  • Device Manager (Devmgmt.msc)
  • Microsoft Management Console (mmc.exe)
  • File Explorer (Explorer.exe)
  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows PowerShell (Powershell_ISE.exe)
  • Failover Cluster Manager (CluAdmin.msc)

Like the new Windows Container Image, the Server Core App Compatibility FOD should make sure you can run more apps on Server Core.

How to install Windows Server 2019  App Compatibility Feature-on-Demand

Windows Server 2019 App Compatibility Feature-on-Demand

First, you will need to download the Feature-on-Demand ISO and save it on your server. Mount the ISO Image:

 
Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath PATH.iso

Install Server Core App Compatibility

After that, you can use DISM to add the FOD package to your Windows Server 2019, installation. Just be sure, this only works on Windows Server Core, Desktop Experiences already has these binaries.

 
# For the App Compatibility Package
 
DISM /online /add-package:"Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-OptionalPackage~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~.cab"
 
# For Internet Explorer
 
Dism /online /add-package:"DISM /online /add-package:"Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-OptionalPackage~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~en-US~.cab"

Windows Server 2019 Core App Compatibility FOD

You will need to restart your server. After the restart, you can run tools like explorer.exe, Device Manager, and many more on Windows Server Core.

When to use which Windows Server 2019 Installation Option

With Windows Server 2019 you now get a couple of installation options, I tried to summarize this in this table:

Installation OptionScenario
Windows Server CoreServer Core is the best installation option for production use and with Windows Admin Center remote management is highly improved.
Windows Server Core with Server Core App Compatibility FODWorkloads, and some troubleshooting scenarios, if Server Core doesn’t meet all your compatibility requirements. You can add an optional package to get past these issues. Try the Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand (FOD).
Windows Server with Desktop ExperienceWindows Server with Desktop Experience is still an option and still meets like previous releases. However, it is significantly larger than Server Core. This includes larger disk usage, more time to copy and deploy and larger attack surface. However, if Windows Server Core with App Compatibility does not support the App, Scenario or Administrators still need the UI, this is the option to install.

Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview for Server Core App Compatibility FOD

As of today, Windows Server 2019 is still only available as Windows Server Insider Preview. You can download the Windows Server 2019 Preview and the App Compatibility Feature-on-demand from the Windows Server Insider download page.

You can read more about the Server Core App Compatibility Feature-on-Demand on the Windows Server Blog and the Microsoft Windows Server 2019 documentation page.



Install SNMP Feature on Windows Server Core

Install SNMP on Windows Server Core

If you run Windows Server as Core Installation, like Windows Server 2016 Core or any Microsoft Hyper-V Server edition and you want to use SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) on that system, you first have to install the SNMP feature on that Core Server. After that you can use the MMC to remotely connect to the services list on the Core Server.

Install SNMP on Windows Server Core

First lets see if the SNMP feature is installed, using PowerShell:

 
Get-WindowsFeature *SNMP*

By default the SNMP feature is not installed. To install the SNMP feature on Windows Server Core, you can run the following command:

 
Install-WindowsFeature SNMP-Service -IncludeAllSubFeature -Verbose


Windows Server 1709 Server Core Sconfig

How to install Windows Server 1709

Microsoft just released the new Windows Server version 1709 in the Semi-Annual Channel. This blog post is for beginners which want to do their first step setting up Windows Server Core.

First you boot your server or virtual machine form the Windows Server 1709 ISO file. and select which Operating System you want to install. You can choose between Windows Server Standard or Windows Server Datacenter. As you might see, there is only Server Core available. The Server with Desktop Experience or Full Server is only available in the LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) in Windows Server 2016.

Windows Server 1709 Operating System

After accepting the license terms, you can choose the installation type. Even there is an upgrade option, you should choose Custom which will be a new install. Since an in-place upgrade from older Windows Server versions is not supported.

Windows Server 1709 Installation Type

Choose which drive you want to install and the partitioning you want to use

Windows Server 1709 Choose Disk

After that Windows Server will install itself, and reboot for a couple of times.

Windows Server 1709 Installation

After the installation is finished you have to set the default Administrator password.

Windows Server 1709 Admin Password

When you login for the first time, it runs the Windows command prompt with the common Windows commands, or you can run PowerShell, or if you need the magic key to the server core configuration you can run “sconfig” which allows you quickly to do configuration changes, install updates and more.

Windows Server 1709 Server Core Sconfig



Docker Windows Server Container Images

Docker Container Images for Windows Server 1709 and new tagging

Last week Microsoft announced new Windows Server 1709 and the new Windows Server 1709 container images. The new container images in Windows Server version 1709 are highly optimized, especially in size. So for example the new Nano Server Container Image in 1709 is 5x smaller than the Nano Server Container Image in Windows Server 2016.

Microsoft also made some changes to tagging which is interesting.

If you want to use the latest images of the container images based on the Windows Server 2016 (which is in the Long-Term Servicing Channel, LTSC) you just run:

 
"microsoft/nanoserver"
or
"microsoft/windowsservercore"

This will give you the latest images of the Windows Server and Nano server container images. If you want to run a specific patch level of the Windows Server 2016 (LTSC)m images, you can run the following:

 
"microsoft/nanoserver:10.0.14393.1770"
or
"microsoft/windowsservercore:10.0.14393.1770"

Docker Windows Server Container Images Size

If you want to use the new Windows Server 1709 container images from the Semi-Annual Channel you can run the following

 
"microsoft/nanoserver:1709"
or
"microsoft/windowsservercore:1709"

and again you cans also add a specific base OS container image by using a KB number:

 
"microsoft/nanoserver:1709_KB4043961"
or
"microsoft/windowsservercore:1709_KB4043961"

If you already tried out the new container images during the development using the insider images, they still existing:

 
"microsoft/nanoserver-insider"
or
"microsoft/windowsservercore-insider"

However, I am not sure what the plan for the insider images is going forward.



Project Honolulu Server Overview

Microsoft Project Honolulu – The new Windows Server Management Experience

Last week Microsoft introduced the world to Project Honolulu, which is the codename for a new Windows Server management experience. Project “Honolulu” is a flexible, locally-deployed, browser-based management platform and tools to manage Windows Server locally and remote.

Microsoft today launched the Hololulu Technical Preview for the world, I had the chance to already work with Microsoft during the last couple of months in a private preview. Project Honolulu helps you to managed your servers remotely as a new kind of Server Manager. This is especially handy if you run Windows Server Core, which I think is the new black, after Microsoft announced that Nano Server is only gonna live as a Container Image with the next version of Windows Server.

Project Honolulu took many features for the Azure Server Management Tools which were hosted in Azure, and allowed you to manage your servers in the cloud and on-premise. But the Feedback was simple, People wanted to install the Management expierence on-prem, without the dependency to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft listened to the feedback and delivered the with Project Honolulu a web-based management solution, which you can install on your own servers.

Honolulu Management Experience

Project Honolulu Server Overview

Project Honolulu has different solutions which give you different functionality. In the technical preview there are three solutions available, Server Manager, Failover Cluster Manager and Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager.

Server Manager

The server manager lets you is kind of like the Server Manager you know from Windows Server, but it also replaces some local only tools like Network Management, Process, Device Manger, Certificate and User Management, Windows Update and so on. The Server Manager Solution also adds management of Virtual Machines, Virtual Switches and Storage Replica.

Failover Cluster Manager

As you might think, this allows you to manage Failover Clusters.

Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager

The Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager is very interesting if you are running Storage Spaces Direct clusters in a Hyper-Converged design, where Hyper-V Virtual Machines run on the same hosts. This allows you to do management of the S2D cluster as well as some performance metrics.

Honolulu Topology

Project Honolulu On-Premise Architecture

Project Honolulu leverages a three-tier architecture, a web server displaying web UI using HTML, a gateway service and the managed nodes. The web interface talks to the gateway service using REST APIs and the gateway connected to the managed nodes using WinRM and PowerShell remoting (Similar like the Azure Management Tools).

Project Honolulu On-Premise and Public Cloud Architecture

You can basically access the Web UI from every machine running modern browsers like Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. If you publish the webserver to the internet, you can also manage it remotely from everywhere. The installation and configuration of Project Honolulu is straight forward, but If you want to know more about the installation check out, my friend and Microsoft MVP colleague, Charbel Nemnom’s blog post about Project Honolulu.

Project Honolulu Gateways Service can be installed on:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

You can manage:

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016 and higher

Conclusion

In my opinion Microsoft Project Honolulu provides us with the Windows Server Management Tool we need so much. It helps us to manage our servers from a centralized HTML5 web application, and really makes management of GUI less servers easy. Deployment and configuration is very easy and simple and doesn’t take a lot of effort, while drastically removing the need to locally logon to a server for management reasons. I hope with that we will see a higher deployment of Windows Server Core installations, since we don’t need the GUI on every single server anymore.

You can download the Project Honolulu Technical Preview here: Project Honolulu Technical Preview

You can give feedback to Project Honolulu here: User Voice Project Honolulu

 



Windows Defender PowerShell

How to disable and configure Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016 using PowerShell

Windows Server 2016 comes standard with built-in Anti-Malware called Windows Defender like Windows 10 Client. And per default, Windows Defender is active and has also turned on Real-Time Protection by default. In Windows Server 2016 Desktop Experience you can disable and configure Windows Defender using the UI or PowerShell, in the Windows Server 2016 Core version or on Nano Server you only have PowerShell available. Here are some quick command how you can configure or disable Windows Defender on Windows Server using PowerShell.

Check the Defender configuration and settings:

 
Get-MpPreference

Turn off Windows Defender Real-Time Protection using PowerShell

 
Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring $true

Turn on Windows Defender Real-Time Protection using PowerShell

 
Set-MpPreference -DisableRealtimeMonitoring $false

Add a File path exclusion:

 
Set-MpPreference -ExclusionPath "C:\temp", "C:\VMs", "C:\NanoServer"

Add process exclusion

 
Set-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess "vmms.exe", "Vmwp.exe"

 

I hope this helps you to easily configure Windows Defender on Windows Server 2016. Btw. This also works on Defender on Windows 10.



Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (Beta)

Windows Server 2012 RC Logo

Last week I took the Microsoft Private Cloud Exam 70-246: Monitoring and Operating Private Cloud with System Center 2012 and got with this the MCSE: Private Cloud certification. I also did the beta exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012.

Now to my experience with the this exam. First of all you can see that Hyper-V is one of the new key features in Windows Server 2012 and you will get a lot of questions about Hyper-V. I got something round 45 questions. The question do pretty much match the list on the exam site. And I would recommend that you check out the new TechNet articles about Windows Server 2012. But I am sure it is much easier to pass the exam if you have worked with the new release of Windows Server 2012. Download the evaluation versions of Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate and test the new features.

You as mentioned on the exam site you should check out the following topics:

You can get more information on the official Microsoft Certification site for exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012.