What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Failover Cluster overview Get-ClusterDiagnostics Enable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect #winserv #windowsserver2016   Leave a comment

A while a go I created a blog post about all the new properties in Windows Server 2016 Clustering.

Well now that we are close the the RTM version a lot of things has changed and naming is different so time for a refresh with a new twist.

When I created this blog https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/what-is-change-in-windows-server-2015-10-cluster-setting-cluster-common-properties-winserv/


New options for the Storage Spaces Direct are in place https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/whatif-hybrid-storage-spaces-direct-s2d-and-storage-replication-sr-azure-windows-server-2016-mvpvconf-ws2016-mvpbuzz/

There is now a powershell command for this so no need for Dasmode=1

Disable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect  Or  Enable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect  


And a lot of new Options are there in the Cluster in the next post I’ll dig them up and show the options.

But what If we check the Powershell Commands.

Get-Command -Module failoverclusters

PS C:\Windows\system32> Get-Command -Module failoverclusters

CommandType     Name                                               Version    Source                                                            
———–     —-                                               ——-    ——                                                            
Alias           Add-VMToCluster                              FailoverClusters                                                  
Alias           Disable-ClusterS2D                           FailoverClusters                                                  
Alias           Enable-ClusterS2D                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Alias           Remove-VMFromCluster                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Function        Get-ClusterDiagnostics                       FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterCheckpoint                        FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterDisk                              FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterFileServerRole                    FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterGenericApplicationRole            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterGenericScriptRole                 FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterGenericServiceRole                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterGroup                             FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusteriSCSITargetServerRole             FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterNode                              FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterPrintServerRole                   FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterResource                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterResourceDependency                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterResourceType                      FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterScaleOutFileServerRole            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterServerRole                        FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterSharedVolume                      FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterVirtualMachineRole                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Add-ClusterVMMonitoredItem                   FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Block-ClusterAccess                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Clear-ClusterDiskReservation                 FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Clear-ClusterNode                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Disable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect           FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Enable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-Cluster                                  FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterAccess                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterAvailableDisk                     FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterCheckpoint                        FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterGroup                             FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterLog                               FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterNetwork                           FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterNetworkInterface                  FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterNode                              FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterOwnerNode                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterParameter                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterQuorum                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterResource                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterResourceDependency                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterResourceDependencyReport          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterResourceType                      FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterSharedVolume                      FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterSharedVolumeState                 FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Get-ClusterVMMonitoredItem                   FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Grant-ClusterAccess                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Move-ClusterGroup                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Move-ClusterResource                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Move-ClusterSharedVolume                     FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Move-ClusterVirtualMachineRole               FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          New-Cluster                                  FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          New-ClusterNameAccount                       FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-Cluster                               FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterAccess                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterCheckpoint                     FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterGroup                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterNode                           FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterResource                       FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterResourceDependency             FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterResourceType                   FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterSharedVolume                   FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Remove-ClusterVMMonitoredItem                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Reset-ClusterVMMonitoredState                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Resume-ClusterNode                           FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Resume-ClusterResource                       FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Set-ClusterLog                               FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Set-ClusterOwnerNode                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Set-ClusterParameter                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Set-ClusterQuorum                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Set-ClusterResourceDependency                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Start-Cluster                                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Start-ClusterGroup                           FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Start-ClusterNode                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Start-ClusterResource                        FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Stop-Cluster                                 FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Stop-ClusterGroup                            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Stop-ClusterNode                             FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Stop-ClusterResource                         FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Suspend-ClusterNode                          FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Suspend-ClusterResource                      FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Test-Cluster                                 FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Test-ClusterResourceFailure                  FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Update-ClusterFunctionalLevel                FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Update-ClusterIPResource                     FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Update-ClusterNetworkNameResource            FailoverClusters                                                  
Cmdlet          Update-ClusterVirtualMachineConfiguration    FailoverClusters                                                 


This is a long list but showing this list the GET commands are giving you instant results.

and Check this out Get-ClusterDiagnostics –Verbose 

It is like the Cluster Diagnostics and Verification Tool (ClusDiag.exe) but now alll is build in in a single powershell command.


The Get-ClusterDiagnostics runs a health test and zips in one file real nice for troubleshooting and for archive one set next to the Cluster Validation set.


In the zip file are all the event logs and Cluster Configuration there is also a list of all the configuration items with values. In this case the cluster has only one node so there is only one node displayed.


Quick list of the cluster configuration with all the settings that you can see with powershell Get-cluster | fl *


But is this the same as the cluster validation report ? No this is not the same and yes it may contain some of the same info but for troubleshooting Both could be very handy.

Things can get very complex with all the new stuff storage spaces direct / Replica / Cloud witness /etc  Especially when you create a non typical Cluster configuration witch is on my list to build the oddest cluster you have ever seen Winking smile 


Happy clustering

Robert Smit



Technorati Tags: Windows Azure,Azure File service,Windows,Server,Clustermvp,Blob,cloud witness

Posted September 28, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

Tagged with

How to Configure the File Share Witness or #Cloud Witness ,Windows Server #ws2003 #ws2008 #ws2012 #ws2016 #winserv   Leave a comment


The file share witness feature is an improvement to the current Majority Node Set (MNS) quorum model. This feature lets you use a file share that is external to the cluster as an additional "vote" to determine the status of the cluster in a two-node MNS quorum cluster deployment.
Consider a two-node MNS quorum cluster. Because an MNS quorum cluster can only run when the majority of the cluster nodes are available, a two-node MNS quorum cluster is unable to sustain the failure of any cluster node. This is because the majority of a two-node cluster is two. To sustain the failure of any one node in an MNS quorum cluster, you must have at least three devices that can be considered as available. The file share witness feature enables you to use an external file share as a witness. This witness acts as the third available device in a two-node MNS quorum cluster. Therefore, with this feature enabled, a two-node MNS quorum cluster can sustain the failure of a single cluster node.image

This is not new and you can configure this even on a windows server 2003. but did you know you can use Azure a cloud witness yes even for 2003. but it will not work out of the box. special handling is needed. and this keeps me thinking what code had windows server 2016 build in that can do this fun part.

Well lets take a look at the servers :

But if you are still using windows server 2003 you have way to much time : Windows Server 2003 support is ending July 14, 2015

But for this demo it will work Winking smile

I have a couple of clusters like in a museum 2003,2008 etc up to 2016.

Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 support is ending July 14, 2015


Checking the Cluster Quorum Currently local.


Windows Server 2008

Earlier I create a blog post about creating a file share in Azure.


As Windows Server 2003 & 2008 are not in my scope anymore I will not go into depth on how to configure this. but you should look in the webDAV options.



But In Windows Server 2016 it is easy there is already an option in the Cluster manager to do this in the Azure Cloud.





This looks easy but you will need to create a storage account in Azure first and copy and past the Password.

Vote on my Idea to create all this directly in the FCM



More info about this :


And also you can use the Azure file share locally and or on other Clusters ( versions ) 

We need to make sure PowerShell and the new Azure File Share CmdLets are installed.  If you need to install PowerShell, you can install it from here.  Once PowerShell is installed, you need to install the CmdLets for Azure File Share here

The download is a ZIP-file (AzureStorageFile.zip) that you should save und unpack to a local directory. Do not store the content in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Azure\PowerShell\ServiceManagement\Azure (i.e. the default directory of the Azure PowerShell installation), as this will result in some versioning issues. In our example, let’s say you will extract files to c:\AzureFiles.

Using the Azure File share







The File share can be used for several Scenarios

  • “Lift and Shift” applications

Azure Files makes it easier to “lift and shift” applications to the cloud that use on-premise file shares to share data between parts of the application. To make this happen, each VM connects to the file share (see “Getting Started” below) and then it can read and write files just like it would against an on-premise file share.

  • Shared Application Settings

A common pattern for distributed applications is to have configuration files in a centralized location where they can be accessed from many different virtual machines. Such configuration files can now be stored in an Azure File share, and read by all application instances. These settings can also be managed via the REST interface, which allows worldwide access to the configuration files.

  • Diagnostic Share

An Azure File share can also be used to save diagnostic files like logs, metrics, and crash dumps. Having these available through both the SMB and REST interface allows applications to build or leverage a variety of analysis tools for processing and analyzing the diagnostic data.

  • Dev/Test/Debug

When developers or administrators are working on virtual machines in the cloud, they often need a set of tools or utilities. Installing and distributing these utilities on each virtual machine where they are needed can be a time consuming exercise. With Azure Files, a developer or administrator can store their favorite tools on a file share, which can be easily connected to from any virtual machine.

Again this is just a preview Just be sure to understand the limitations of Azure Files the most important are:

  • 5TB per share
  • Max file size 1TB
  • Up to 1000 IOPS (of size 8KB) per share
  • Up to 60MB/s per share of data transfer for large IOs
  • SMB 2.1 support only

Here are the Links to the How to create a azure file share and build your desktop share


Build the Windows Server Cluster Azure Quorum Cloud Witness  in just a few Steps.


And yes you can build several configurations with the Azure File share Cloud Storage is there to use it. there is only one thing with the Cloud you will need an internet connection to your servers. unless you already use expressroute.


Happy clustering

Robert Smit



Posted September 28, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

Tagged with

Windows Server 2016 Cluster Troubleshooting Enhancements Active Memory Dump #winserv #WindowsServer2016   Leave a comment

When deploying windows servers there are always questions about pagefiles and should we enable the kernel dump and when this happened the disk maybe full, or should we do only a small memory dump 256kb.

These are common questions and there is no direct right answer it all depends. but in windows Server 2016 there is a new option Active Dump.

Active Dump is an active memory dump of the server with filtered out most memory pages used by Virtual machines.And as servers has now days 256GB of memory a 256GB Complete memory dump is not really helping. there for the Active Dump is a perfect solution for this

When doing a complete memory dump on a 256GB you will get a 256 GB memory.dmp file

So when comparing an Complete Memory Dump with Active Dump it will save you 10% in size in the memory.dmp still 25GB is a large file.

Even when the Machine is loaded with 60 virtual machines the difference will still be around the 8-10 % but will still includes the usermode space of the parent partition.

So you can set this option by GUI / Regkey / Powershell / GPO

Registry setting


The change will not take effect until the system is restarted if changing it directly in the registry:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl\

By Powershell

Get-ItemProperty –Path HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl –Name CrashDumpEnabled

Get-ItemProperty –Path HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl –Name FilterPages



and the same for the set item.

Set-ItemProperty –Path HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl –Name CrashDumpEnabled –value 1

Set-ItemProperty –Path HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl –Name FilterPages –value 1

The powershell setting is more a Registery item. Also a reboot is needed.

then the GUI setting

Well the GUI setting is easy it is just as you always changed the Memory dump setting just now you set the Active dump.

image image


And you can also set this in the GPO



And if you have mixed your 2012R2 servers with the 2016 servers you need to set a filter so that the GPO is just for the 2016 Server



What is change in Windows Server 2016 (10) cluster – Setting Cluster Common Properties #winserv

Happy clustering

Robert Smit



Technorati Tags: Windows,Server,Storage,Spaces,Direct,SOFS,setup

Posted September 22, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

Tagged with

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Clustering and Storage overview #winserv   Leave a comment

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 well there are a lot of new features in the windows server 2016 in the next view blogs I’ll select an item on a how to use this new feature or how to use this.

On my blog there are already several items on Windows server 2016 on how to do Storage spaces direct or storage replica ,Containers. Or New Cluster powershell items. But there are always new items so first I’m going to redo all the new items on the Cluster Powershell items

What is change in Windows Server 2016 (10) cluster – Setting Cluster Common Properties #winserv

Below is a short list of all the new items that are in windows server 2016 and maybe not all items are directly usable in your environment it may be a nice to have thing so take a look at the new items.


  • Windows Server Containers: Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview now includes containers, which are an isolated, resource-controlled, and portable operating environment. They are an isolated place where an application can run without affecting the rest of the system or the system affecting the application. For some additional information on containers

  • What’s new in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server Technical Preview. Active Directory Domain Services includes improvements to help organizations secure Active Directory environments and provide better identity management experiences for both corporate and personal devices.

  • What’s New in Active Directory Federation Services. Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes new features that enable you to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories. .

  • What’s New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Failover Clustering. A Hyper-V or Scale-out File Server failover cluster can now easily be upgraded without any downtime or need to build a new cluster with nodes that are running Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview.

  • What’s new in Hyper-V in Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, Client Hyper-V running on Windows 10, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview.

  • Windows Server Antimalware Overview for Windows Server Technical Preview. Windows Server Antimalware is installed and enabled by default in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, but the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware is not installed. However, Windows Server Antimalware will update antimalware definitions and protect the computer without the user interface. If you need the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware, you can install it after the operating system installation by using the Add Roles and Features Wizard.

  • What’s New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2016. For the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, the Remote Desktop Services team focused on improvements based on customer requests. We added support for OpenGL and OpenCL applications, and added MultiPoint Services as a new role in Windows Server.

  • What’s New in File and Storage Services in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Storage Services. An update in storage quality of service now enables you to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage Replica is a new feature that enables synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability..

  • What’s New in Web Application Proxy in Windows Server Technical Preview. The latest version of Web Application Proxy focuses on new features that enable publishing and preauthentication for more applications and improved user experience. Check out the full list of new features that includes preauthentication for rich client apps such as Exchange ActiveSync and wildcard domains for easier publishing of SharePoint apps.


Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade

A new feature in Failover Clustering, Cluster Operating System Rolling Upgrade, enables an administrator to upgrade the operating system of the cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview without stopping the Hyper-V or the Scale-Out File Server workloads. Using this feature, the downtime penalties against Service Level Agreements (SLA) can be avoided.

Storage Replica

Storage Replica (SR) is a new feature that enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between servers or clusters for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster between sites. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes to ensure zero data loss at the file-system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss.

Cloud Witness

Cloud Witness is a new type of Failover Cluster quorum witness in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview that leverages Microsoft Azure as the arbitration point. The Cloud Witness, like any other quorum witness, gets a vote and can participate in the quorum calculations. You can configure cloud witness as a quorum witness using the Configure a Cluster Quorum Wizard.


Virtual Machine Resiliency

Compute Resiliency Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes increased virtual machines compute resiliency to help reduce intra-cluster communication issues in your compute cluster


Diagnostic Improvements in Failover Clustering

To help diagnose issues with failover clusters, Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes the following:

  • Several enhancements to cluster log files (such as Time Zone Information and DiagnosticVerbose log) that makes is easier to troubleshoot failover clustering issues.

  • A new a dump type of Active memory dump, which filters out most memory pages allocated to virtual machines, and therefore makes the memory.dmp much smaller and easier to save or copy.


Site-aware Failover Clusters

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes site- aware failover clusters that enable group nodes in stretched clusters based on their physical location (site). Cluster site-awareness enhances key operations during the cluster lifecycle such as failover behavior, placement policies, heartbeat between the nodes, and quorum behavior.

Workgroup and Multi-domain clusters

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and previous versions, a cluster can only be created between member nodes joined to the same domain. Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview breaks down these barriers and introduces the ability to create a Failover Cluster without Active Directory dependencies. You can now create failover clusters in the following configurations:

  • Single-domain Clusters. Clusters with all nodes joined to the same domain.

  • Multi-domain Clusters. Clusters with nodes which are members of different domains.

  • Workgroup Clusters. Clusters with nodes which are member servers / workgroup (not domain joined).

System Center Hashtags like #cloud

System Center: #sysctr
System Center App Controller: #appctrl
System Center Virtual Machine Manager: #vmm
System Center Service Manager: #scsm
System Center Operations Manager: #scom
System Center Data Protection Manager: #dpm
System Center Orchestrator: #sco
System Center Advisor: #scadvisor
System Center Configuration Manager: #configmgr
System Center Azure: #azure
System Center Windows Azure Pack: #wap

System Center All Up: http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/

System Center – Configuration Manager Support Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/configurationmgr/
System Center – Data Protection Manager Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/
System Center – Orchestrator Support Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/orchestrator/
System Center – Operations Manager Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/momteam/
System Center – Service Manager Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager

System Center – Virtual Machine Manager Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/scvmm

Windows Intune: http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/

WSUS Support Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/sus/

The AD RMS blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmssupp/

App-V Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/appv/

MED-V Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/medv/
Server App-V Team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/serverappv

The Forefront Endpoint Protection blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/clientsecurity/
The Forefront Identity Manager blog : http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ms-identity-support/
The Forefront TMG blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/isablog/
The Forefront UAG blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/edgeaccessblog/


Happy clustering

Robert Smit



Posted September 21, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

Tagged with

Azure Backup building backup vaults Protect On-premises workloads for Azure VM in Azure #azure #marsa #mars   2 comments

The usage of cloud is often a pain what application or server should we move to the cloud just to get the feeling. And what about backup where to store the files. Well you could move your backup to the cloud and see how this is treating you. If you have storsimple or SCDPM than you can use also the backup vaults.  or save the azure backup on premise. Or simple create a backup vault.

The big difference between backup Protect On-premises workloads and Protect Azure Virtual Machines is simple in the Protect Azure Virtual Machines there is a full copy of the machine and no file selection. If you want file selection backup in Azure virtual machines you will need Protect On-premises workloads.

Funny Protect On-premises workloads for Azure Virtual machines running in Azure


all you need is an agent and a Azure Subscription go to http://manage.windowsazure.com

Setting up backup for Azure virtual machines can be achieved in three simple steps:

  1. Discover the machines that can be protected in the Azure Backup vault.
  2. Register the discovered virtual machines to Azure Backup vault.
  3. Protect the registered virtual machines by associating them with a policy defining backup schedule and how long you want to retain.

First we need a backup Vault keep in mind that the region of your azure VM’s must be the same as you backup vault. when you do a on premise backup there is no need for this.



In this section you can create a site recovery vault backup or a backup vault.  More info about and how to setup a recovery vault https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/azure-site-recovery-service-asrs-hyper-v-to-azure-recovery-mvpbuzz/ Azure Site Recovery Service #ASR #Hyper-v to #Azure #Recovery


Now that the vault is created you have two options what to backup Protect On-premises workloads or Protect Azure Virtual Machines



The Protect On-premises workloads is easy to setup First we need the vault credentials that are needed for the secure communication between on premise and azure


We save this file on the protected machine or on a file share.

And we need to download an agent and install this on every machine that we want to backup. No there is no Management suite to manage all this.

image image

Installing the Agent and registering the Vault credentials.


image Generate a passphrase or use your own but in case of a lost passphrase your backup is gone.


If the passphrase is lost or forgotten; Microsoft cannot help in recovering the backup data. The end user owns the encryption passphrase and Microsoft does not have any visibility into the passphrase which is used by the end user. Please save the file in a secure location as it would be required during a recovery operation.

When checking Azure you can see Windows Server and Azure VM to protect.




the backup tool to select files and folders to backup.



Protect Azure Virtual Machines



First we need to register items to the vault to protect. this will run a quick discovery of all your VM’s in the Region / subscription

To make sure that all items are discovered we run discover first


Successfully discovered virtual machines in the region West Europe. Please register the virtual machines to a vault of same region.

Now we are ready to register some machines to backup


I want to backup my mvpdummy01 machine


Check Protect and pick the machine and this machine is now registered


next step is to protect this VM again select the machine and your done.


Now that the machine is registered and protected we can us a default or create a custom protection level. the max setting is 99 years. why not 100 ? Guess this is not a time machine but only a backup vault that you can restore a windows server 2003 in year 2114




Storage replication

The Locally Redundant option maintains 3 copies of your data within the same region.
The Geo-Redundant option maintains 3 copies of your data locally and 3 copies in a secondary storage region.

The storage replication choice cannot be changed once items have been registered to the vault. Learn More



Nice and easy backup

Happy Clustering


Robert Smit


Posted September 14, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Azure, Azure Site Recovery

Tagged with

Build your Windows Server Container and create Windows Server Containers and Windows Server Container Images #ws2016 #winserv   Leave a comment

What are containers?

They are an isolated, resource controlled, and portable operating environment.

Basically, a container is an isolated place where an application can run without affecting the rest of the system and without the system affecting the application. Containers are the next evolution in virtualization.

If you were inside a container, it would look very much like you were inside a freshly installed physical computer or a virtual machine. And, to Docker, a Windows Server Container can be managed in the same way as any other container.

The windows Server Container can be used to package a Windows Server application, and Microsoft’s .Net framework application and can be easily moved across different servers or from your test cloud to the production cloud.


Install-WindowsFeature –name Containers

By default you will not see any change only a few PowerShell commands.

Get-Command -Module containers


But I this scenario I have a Windows server 2016 and I will build a container in a VM


Important links :

Get your Container VM this image is about 6Gb and a slow download http://aka.ms/containerhostvhd 

It all starts here samples of containers ready for testing https://github.com/Microsoft/Virtualization-Documentation


On my Hyper-v Server 2016 I opened Powershell

#gGet script download New-ContainerHost-Source.ps1
wget -uri http://aka.ms/newcontainerhost -OutFile c:\New-ContainerHost.ps1

#Run script to create a new container
.\New-ContainerHost.ps1 –VmName MVPContainer01 -Password Password01


You will need to accept the Eula

the script will download the VM and configure it in the Hyper-v server.

Using VHD path C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks
Copying VHD archive (6 GB) from http://aka.ms/containerhostvhd to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\WindowsServer_en-us_TP3_Container_VHD.zip (this may take a few minutes)…

The Download is not fast at all so this will take some time So I have plenty of time to make some screenshots


and yes I used a clear password



Docker is already installed.
NSSM is already installed
Creating Docker program data…
Configuring NSSM for Docker service…
Waiting for Docker daemon…
Successfully connected to Docker Daemon.
Tagging new base image…
Script complete!
VM MVPContainer01 is ready for use as a container host.
See http://msdn.microsoft.com/virtualization/windowscontainers for more information about using Containers.
The source code for these installation scripts is available here: https://github.com/Microsoft/Virtualization -Documentation/tree/master/windows-server-container-tools



By default the VM is not connected to a Switch and be aware of the disk placement, Containers are based on Differencing disk

#This VM is not connected to the network. 
Get-VM mvp* | Get-VMNetworkAdapter | Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -Switchname vSwitch

and in case you wonder why did I need this password. ? take a look in the unattended XML ( unless you do a lock )

Autologon count = 999 so in the first reboot you won’t need a password.

Ok but now what I have a VM running and this VM is running Core

Let us check things run

#get the Image name


#get the Virtual Switch name this is not the Hyper-v switch!




with the Get-Container you can see the Created Containers

All containers are Stopped and we need them to start

Start-Container my*  to start all containers

image   image

Remote management without the container ID is not posible

get-container |ft containername,ContainerId

Below is a little snapshot of the Container. the Master disk WindowsServer_en-us_TP3_Container_VHD.vhd and the Differencing disks that are running as Container VM


ContainerVHDVersion.10514.2.txt  means This file indicates the web version of the base VHD

To manage a Container session

Enter-PSSession -containerId b6e784a6-632d-4efb-8e48-89496ee2abfa –RunAsAdministrator

Be aware you will need the ContainerId to enter this session


Checking the IP as well the Container IP Remember the Firewall is on and really you need to powershell a lot the get things done and far from easy. And if you build this in a LAB of Home server and SSD is a must.

In the next Post I’ll show you how to run stuff in the Container and set thing up.

SQL is a great option to run this in a Container. I started over several times and still I miss some great tools to easy manage this.


I hope there Will be a VMM or Hyper-v plugin to manage this all else it would be hard to manage all this.

Happy Clustering

Robert Smit


Posted August 25, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

Tagged with

First hands-on Upgrading Windows Server 2016 TP2 to TP3 #easy #upgrade #ws2016 #WinServ   Leave a comment

Now that Windows Server 2016TP3 is there we can test all the new stuff the in place upgrade was just 10 min downtime that is great. and my SCVMM and SQL server still worked. get the bits here:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud Platform, Windows Server brings Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure. Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 provides a wide range of new and enhanced features and capabilities spanning server virtualization, storage, software-defined networking, server management and automation, web and application platform, access and information protection, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.

As a reminder, these are early pre-release builds. Many of the features and scenarios are still in development. As such, these builds are not intended for production environments, labs, nor full evaluations. This is pre-released software; features and functionality may differ in the final release.

Need more information about the next version of Windows Server? See what’s new in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3.


The upgrade is done in just a few steps I used a System center Virtual Machine Manager VM to upgrade ( with SQL2016 and SCVMM TP2 )

image  image

Want to keep or wipe the server. and


image image


Setup encountered a problem and was unable to determine whether Hyper-V features can be upgraded. For more information about Hyper-V upgrade requirements, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=512570.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=512570  VmConfigurationVersion vmname or vmobject



image image




image image

In just 10 Minutes Winking smile 

image and here is my VMM server


So what to expect when upgrading  there a a whole lot of new things in 2016 new in this release :


Windows Server Containers

What’s new in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server Technical

What’s New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview.

What’s new in Hyper-V in Technical Preview.

What’s New in Windows Server Antimalware Overview for Windows Server Technical Preview.

What’s New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2016.

What’s New in File and Storage Services in Windows Server Technical Preview.

What’s New in Web Application Proxy in Windows Server Technical Preview.

What’s New in Networking in Windows Server Technical Preview.

Posted August 19, 2015 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2016

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