Microsoft released evaluation bits for Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 during Ignite Conference in Atlanta on 27thSeptember 2016. Having released evaluation bits, Microsoft made these two products generally available on 12thOctober, which added them to MSDN and also into Volume Licensing Service Center for Enterprise Customers. Evaluation media can be downloaded from links below Windows Server 2016: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2016?i=1 System Center 2016: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-2016 While there are many sessions at Ignite, which highlights capabilities presented within Windows Server 2016, feel free to have a look at some of the videos below as well.
Microsoft recently updated Azure Server Management tools with a new functionality, which allows remote execution of Windows updates against managed Windows Server / Nano Server instances using Azure Server Management tools. For those who are not familiar Azure Server management tools, I wrote a blog post recently announcing Azure Server Management Tools, which is a new method for managing Windows Server 2016 Servers and also Nano Servers. (https://nirmalt.com/2016/02/26/azure-server-management-toolsinstallation/) Let’s have a look at the new patch management process using Server Management Tools.
In this blog post let’s looks at creating a Storage Spaces Direct Hyper Converged solution using three virtual machines. For production deployment, it is recommended to use physical servers instead of virtual machines. I will be using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 version which was just released few days back for this blog post. Before I move any further, I would like to highlight some of the key features introduced part of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5
A common question that gets raised around new Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview is around Why we should deploy Nano Server and what’s the benefit. In this blog post I will discuss few benefits when using Nano Server deployment Method. Starting with Windows Server 2012, we had 3 deployment options Server Core Deployment Option MinShell Deployment Option Full Desktop Experience Deployment Option Back then, for deployments such as Hyper-V it was recommended to deploy Server Core due to limited attack surface and reduced patches/hotfixes which we had to deploy.
In my previous post, I provided an Introduction to Azure Server Management Tools. In this blog post we will look at installing & configuration Server Management Tools. First Step involved in setting up Server Management Tools is for us to create a Server Management Tools Connection. Once a connection has been created, we can go ahead and provision Server Management Tools gateway. Gateway is an essential component which provides Azure Server Management Tools service, connectivity in to your on-premises or azure hosted Server 2016 VMs (At the moment support is only for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview).
Microsoft recently released Azure Server Management Tools preview for web-based management tools for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview running on-premises as well as in Azure. Currently, Server Management Tools offer the following capabilities: View and change system configuration View performance across various resources and manage processes and services Manage devices attached to the server View event logs View the list of installed roles and features Use a PowerShell console to manage and automate Having server management tools available in Azure gives me the flexibility to manage my on-premises Windows Server 2016 servers and also Azure Windows Server 2016 Servers using a single portal.
Nano Server (DNS Server / IIS Server roles and also previously included scale out File Server & Hyper-V Role) Windows Containers Site-Aware Failover Cluster, Workgroup and Multi-domain Clusters Hyper-V Virtual Machine Resiliency Cloud Witness Cloud Operating System Rolling Upgrade Storage Spaces Direct Storage Replica
In this blog post we will look at how we can continue to use Windows Server Technical Preview and extend its expiry date till 1st OCT 2015. At the moment when we login to Server Technical Preview before applying the hotfix, we get following message (I have another blog post earlier regarding this http://nirmalt.com/2015/04/04/this-build-of-windows-will-expire-soon-windows-server-technical-preview/) Checking on Windows Version (winver) Microsoft recently released a hotfix which will extend the time duration of Windows Server Technical Preview.
UPDATE : Hotfix is now available and for more details please have a look at my blog http://nirmalt.com/2015/04/14/continue-to-use-windows-server-technical-preview-1-oct-2014 If you are running Windows Server Preview (Technical Preview 1 Released in 1stOct 2014), you might have already realized that it’s set to expire on 15thApril. While Microsoft is preparing to release Technical Preview 2 sometime in May, we will need to look for an alternative to continue using Windows Server Preview build.
In this blog post, we will look at configuring Cloud Witness, a new quorum option introduced in Windows Server vNext Technical Preview (OCT 2014 Release). Cloud witness was introduced as an option similar to a File Share Witness, but hosted on Azure without having to maintain any infrastructure within your datacenter. This allows us to have multi-site clusters without having the need to have a 3rd site as a witness.