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MVPLAB Serie Windows Server Insider Cluster with ISCSI Target Server #WindowsServerInsider #Winserv

mvplab.local Domain

I have made a new MVPLAB with Microsoft Windows Server Insider Preview Build 25158 to install Services and Features for learning but also to give Microsoft feedback about the products. When the MVPLAB domain and Clusters are ready in basic then I can use new Microsoft Azure Hybrid solutions as well, like Azure Arc Kubernetes services and Azure Cloud Defender for Servers and SQL.
Before we start, you need to become a Windows Server Insider so that you can download the newest Windows Server Insider Builds ISO.
Here you get more information for the Windows Server Insider Program registration 

After the free registration you can download the new Microsoft Windows Server Insider Builds here :

While I’m writing a new blogpost, Microsoft published a new Build 25169.
Here you can download the ISO or VHDX file

To Build your Test and innovation LAB with the newest Microsoft technologies, you need a platform to Build on. Of course Microsoft Azure Cloud Services is Awesome to work with and Great to make test environments but I like to make a Azure Hybrid scenario with Azure Cloud and On-premises datacenter services like for example a Microsoft SQL Cluster with Cluster resources / Instances.
So my MVPLAB will be Azure Hybrid and for On-premises I use Windows Server Hyper-V to make virtual servers.

It’s Great when your hardware provider like Dell is Microsoft Azure Stack HCI compliant to build your Hyper Converged Infrastructure in your on-premises datacenter.

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solution

When you work with Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack HCI, you really need Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management.
This is a Great Administrator tool for managing your Windows Servers, Clusters, Azure Stack HCI, and Azure VM’s in a Hybrid environment.

Windows Admin Center Cluster Overview

Now that we have everything and Hyper-V is running, we will build the Following Windows Servers with the Insider Preview Build:

  • MVPDC01 ( the first domain controller for mvplab.local domain )
  • MVPStore01 ( ISCSI Target Host for deploying ISCSI Virtual Disks to my Cluster)
  • MVPFS01 ( Cluster Node 01 of Cluster MVPCL01 )
  • MVPFS02 ( Cluster Node 02 of Cluster MVPCL01 )

I install all the virtual servers with 50GB local harddisk for OS and start with 4GB of Dynamic Memory and a Nic.
Only the Cluster nodes get two Nics (One for Heartbeat of the Cluster)
This is for my MVPLAB, but for Production environments I always start with 3 Nics ( 1 = Production 2 = Heartbeat 3 = Storage )

In Hyper-V we make a New Virtual Machine with these specifications and we attach the Windows Server Insider Preview Build ISO.
We install Windows Server Insider Preview Build default and after the installation we set the NIC IP-Address on static and gave the Server the name MVPDC01. Then I installed all the Windows Updates, and after that I started Server Manager to install the Active Directory Feature :

Active Directory just follow the wizard and don’t forget to run DCPromo to
build your domain.

Active Directory and DNS is running locally like
mvplab.local

So now is my domain and DNS running in my MVPLAB, but what do I need more first to build a Windows Server Insider Cluster?
We need Shared storage, so we build a Windows Server Insider ISCSI Target Host to provision Shared VHD’s via ISCSI Initiator to the Cluster Nodes.

The Next member Windows Server Insider is MVPStore01.mvplab.local joined in our new domain. Here I installed the iSCSI Host features:

Start Server Manager and the Add Server role :
– iSCSI Target Server
– iSCSI Target Storage Provider

Click on Install

In Hyper-V Settings of the Virtual Machine MVPStore01, I have installed a extra disk of 25GB so that we can use that for iSCSI Target Host which is now running on this Server. Now we can provision storage when the new Windows Server Insider Cluster MVPCL01.mvplab.local is installed with the iSCSI Initiator to get Cluster storage. So now we are first going to build a Windows Server Insider Cluster and after that we will provision the Cluster Storage.

Installing a Windows Server Cluster with Insider preview Build 25158.

I deployed two member servers MVPFS01.mvplab.local and MVPFS02.mvplab.local into the new domain. they have static IP-Address and are working fine with DNS resolving. On both Servers I installed the Feature Failover Clustering

Failover Clustering Installed.

from here we are going to install the new Windows Server Insider Cluster MVPCL01.mvplab.local

Start Failover Cluster Manager.
Create Cluster.

Click on Next

select the two new Cluster Nodes
Click on Next

Select Yes, run configuration validation tests
Click on Next

Click on Next

Run all tests
Click Next

Confirmation
Click Next

Type in the new Cluster name => mvpcl01
IP-Address => 192.168.2.43
Click Next

Confirmation
Click on Next

Creating Cluster….

We now have a Cluster mvpcl01.mvplab.local running, but without storage and without the witness disk. the iSCSI initiator is running on both Cluster nodes, so now we have to provision storage to the Cluster via the iSCSI Target Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local.

iSCSI Storage provisioning to Windows Server Insider Cluster

via the Server Manager of the iSCSI Target host, we are going to create a new iSCSI Virtual Disk for both Cluster Nodes :

Click on New iSCSI Virtual Disk

iSCSI Virtual Disk Name
Click on Next

Type in the Size I’m using 20GB of 24,9 because I need also a Quorum disk for the Cluster.
Select Fixed Size.
Click on Next.

New iSCSI Target
Click on Next

Give the iSCSI Target a Name
Click on Next

Add the Access Servers via iSCSI Initiator
Click on Next

Here you can set Authentication if you want.
Click on Next

Confirmation
Click on Create

the iSCSI Virtual Disk is successfully created.

the iSCSI Target VHD is not connected yet.
Now we connect with iSCSI Initiator from the Cluster Nodes.
The work on iSCSI Taget Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local is Done.

When you start the iSCSI Initiator it will set the services and the firewall settings on the Server.
You have to do this on both Cluster nodes.

First we add the Target portal and that is our iSCSI Taget Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local with
IP-Address 192.168.2.46 with port 3260.
This is under the discovery tab.

Select Targets tab
you see the Target mvpstore01 Inactive.
Select and click on Connect.

If you had Multi-path IO running, you could enable Multipath too.
Click on Ok

The iSCSI Taget Virtual Disk is connected.

On the iSCSI Target Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local is the target now also in Connected status.

You now can now bring the 20GB disk Online via Disk Management and give it a drive letter
for the Cluster.
Then you can add the 20GB disk via Storage of Cluster Manager tool.

 

 

You can make Cluster Shared Volume.

I made a Cluster for a SQL Instance and I made
a 2GB iSCSI Taget VHD for the Witness Disk.

So Now we have Cluster storage running and failovers are working, now we need to configure Quorum witness disk via
Failover Cluster Manager.

Go to more actions on the Cluster.
Configure Cluster Quorum

Click on Next

Select the quorum witness
Click on Next

You can configure your witness on different locations.
I will select our 2GB witness disk on our Cluster

Select the Quorum disk
Click on Next

Confirmation
Click on Next

You have successfully configured the quorum settings for the Cluster
Click on Finish

Witness disk is running.

So my Microsoft Windows Server Insider Cluster is ready for workloads, if you want to you can run a Cluster validation to see
if everything is okay. Now my MVPLAB is ready for the next installation on my Cluster and that is :

Installing the Newest SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on my Windows Server Insider Cluster.

But that will be a next Blogpost : Installing SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on a Windows Server Cluster 😉
Follow me on Twitter : @Jamesvandenberg

 


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Running #Ubuntu and #Debian Linux distro on Windows Server 2022 Preview with #WSL2

Running Ubuntu and Debian Linux Distro on Windows Server 2022
Preview Build 25120.1010 with WSL 2.0

In the Week of MS-Build 2022 Event, Microsoft is announcing that WSL 2.0 is coming to Windows Server 2022 Preview Build on twitter.

In the following step-by-step guide we will install Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.0 (WSL) on Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25120.1010 to run Ubuntu and Debian Linux Distro’s.

Here you can download Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build ISO or VHDX disk
when you are registered as a Windows Insider.

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25120 Installed.

Install the latest updates.

Open Windows Server Manager.

I Have installed the following :

  • Containers ( because I like this for later in my MVP Lab )
  • Hyper-V
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • VirtualMachine Platform
  • Reboot the System after installation.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

When the Virtual Server is up, you have to bring it down to make nested virtualization possible when you run your server on a Hyper-V Host like me.

On the host in PowerShell administrator mode :

Set-VMProcessor -VMName WIN2022 -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true

Start the Virtual Machine.

wsl –install

wsl –update

WSL 2.0 is Installed

wsl –status

wsl –install -d Ubuntu

I did the same for Debian wsl –install -d debian

Here you can see both Linux distro’s on Windows Server.

Here we are running both WSL 2.0 Linux distro’s Ubuntu and Debian on Windows Server Insider Preview Build together at the same time 😉

Here I’m running VSCode on Remote WSL Debian Linux distro.

More information about Microsoft WSL you can find here on Docs.

Important:

All this is still in Preview and not ready for production environment yet. I installed this all in my MVP Test Lab for learning and testing. Hope you find this useful for your test environment to play with the newest Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview and WSL 2.0 with
all kind of Linux distro’s.


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Windows Admin Center 21.10 Build 1.3.2111.01001 Secured-Core #Security #WindowsAdminCenter

Windows Admin Center Security

Secured-core – recommended for the most sensitive systems and industries like financial, healthcare, and government agencies. Builds on the previous layers and leverages advanced processor capabilities to provide protection from firmware attacks.

In Windows Admin Center Security you can Configure Secured-Core :

Secured-Core in Windows Admin Center 21.10

You can activate 6 secured-Core feature :

  • Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI)
  • Boot DMA Protection
  • System Guard
  • Secure Boot
  • Virtualization-based Security (VBS)
  • Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM2.0)

You now can simply activate the Security Feature.
Needs a Reboot

Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) is enabled.

More information about Secured-Core Features

Windows Admin Center Community on LinkedIn


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What’s New in Windows Server 2022 Security! #Winserv #Security #WindowsServer2022 #SecOps

Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit 1.0

The Microsoft Security Configuration Toolkit enables enterprise security administrators to effectively manage their enterprise’s Group Policy Objects (GPOs).  Using the toolkit, administrators can compare their current GPOs with Microsoft-recommended GPO baselines or other baselines, edit them, store them in GPO backup file format, and apply them via a domain controller or inject them directly into testbed hosts to test their effects. For more information, see Windows Security Baselines.

 

Baseline security policies for Windows Server 2022.

But what’s new in Microsoft Windows Server 2022?

Here we have some new Windows Server 2022 security features :

  • Secured-core server

  • Hardware root-of-trust

  • Firmware protection

  • Virtualization-based security (VBS)

  • Secure connectivity

    • Transport: HTTPS and TLS 1.3 enabled by default on Windows Server 2022

    • Secure DNS: Encrypted DNS name resolution requests with DNS-over-HTTPS

    • Server Message Block (SMB): SMB AES-256 encryption for the most security conscious

    • SMB: East-West SMB encryption controls for internal cluster communications

    • SMB over QUIC

  • Azure Arc enabled Windows Servers

  • Windows Admin Center

  • Azure Automanage – Hotpatch

You can read more information on these topics on Microsoft Docs

Windows Server 2022 security features

In the following steps you will see some of the security features of Microsoft Windows Server 2022.

When your Windows Server 2022 is running on a Hypervisor like Hyper-V, you can set Memory integrity under Windows Security to ON.
This prevents attacks from inserting malicious code into high security processes. When you set this security feature on, the Server needs a reboot to activate.
Memory Integrity needs a reboot.

Windows Security Notifications.

By default Virus & Threat protection notification is active, when you want notifications about Microsoft defender firewall blocking a new application, you have to turn this feature on and select the firewalls.

In Windows security we have also ransomware protection. 
Protect your files against threats like ransomware, and see how to restore files in case of an attack.
You can do this by Controlled folder access.
Protect files, folders and memory on your Server from unauthorized changes by software.

Protected folders.

New in Windows Server 2022 is Tamper protection in Windows Security.
This Prevents others from tampering with important security features.

 

This was all Microsoft Windows Server 2022 security in the VM, but how about your Windows Server 2022 Hyper-V Hypervisors?

Hypervisor-protected Code Integrity (HVCI) is a virtualization based security (VBS) feature available in Windows. In the Windows Device Security settings, HVCI is referred to as Memory Integrity.

HVCI and VBS improve the threat model of Windows and provide stronger protections against malware trying to exploit the Windows Kernel. VBS leverages the Windows Hypervisor to create an isolated virtual environment that becomes the root of trust of the OS that assumes the kernel can be compromised. HVCI is a critical component that protects and hardens this virtual environment by running kernel mode code integrity within it and restricting kernel memory allocations that could be used to compromise the system.

See Virtualization Based Security System Resource Protections for more details on these protections.

 

Here you find a great video with a session of Jeff Woolsey Principal Program Manager at Microsoft. It’s all about What’s new in Windows Server 2022.

Conclusion

Start with Microsoft Windows Server 2022 today and make your test environment to play with Windows Server 2022 and Security.
Make your core business application solution more secure then ever, and let a ethical hacker do pen tests on your solution.
When you have security by default in your architectural designs, and test your Windows Server 2022 for production workloads it makes a big different to keep your environment and solution safe. And when you monitor your Windows Server 2022 solution pro-active with Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, Azure Defender like this with Azure Arc enabled Servers

This keeps you in Control on Security by design for your business.


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Windows Admin Center v2103 Available! What’s New #Winserv #Azure #Management #WindowsAdminCenter #MVPBuzz

Windows Admin Center v2103

With Windows Admin Center you can remotely manage Windows Server running anywhere—physical, virtual, on-premises, in Azure, or in a hosted environment.
The tool, available with your Windows Server license at no additional charge, consolidates and reimagines Windows OS tools in a single, browser-based, graphical user interface.
At Microsoft Ignite 2021 Global Virtual Event they launched Windows Admin Center version 2103. Here you find the download.

What’s New in Windows Admin Center v2103

WAC Updates Automatically

Events Tool ReDesign (Preview)

Great Overview of the Server Events 😉

Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows

Windows Admin Center in The Azure Portal 

Set Proxy Server in Windows Admin Center Settings.

Open in a Separate Window

This is a Separate Window on my Second Screen, this works Awesome!

Windows Admin Center Virtual Tool improvements 🙂

Conclusion

Microsoft is working hard to make Hybrid IT Management better for Administrators to manage Hybrid Cloud datacenters. Windows Admin Center is a must have for managing
Windows Server Core, AzureStack HCI, and Cluster Services. I can say: I love to work with Windows Admin Center 🙂

 

When you have feedback for the Product Team please do that here at User Voice


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Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298 Available! #Winserv #WindowsServer2022 #WIMVP #WindowsInsiders #MSIgnite

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298

Microsoft Windows Server Insider Team Released Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298, here you find more information on Tech Community

This Build is Available with :

  • Windows Server 2022 Standard (Core)
  • Windows Server 2022 Standard ( Desktop Experience)
  • Windows Server 2022 Datacenter ( Core)
  • Windows Server 2022 Datacenter ( Desktop Experience)

I Installed Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview with Windows Admin Center.

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298 is Running 😉

And in Control of Windows Admin Center.

Download Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview here

Don’t forget this Awesome session at MSIgnite 2021 Event!

 


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#WindowsAdminCenter – Installing Windows Server version 20H2 Core Build 10.0.19042 #Winserv #HybridIT #Azure

Windows Admin Center Hyper-V Host

Simplify server management

Manage all your server environments with familiar yet modernized tools, such as the reimagined Server Manager and streamlined MMC tools, from a single, browser-based, graphical user interface. Admins can manage Windows Server instances anywhere: on-premises, in Azure, or in any cloud.

Operate hybrid seamlessly

Extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using the Azure hybrid services found in Windows Admin Center. Use Azure for:

  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Additional capacity for compute, file servers and storage
  • Centralized management for monitoring, threat protection and update management

You can download Windows Admin Center here

In the following steps we will install Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042 via Windows Admin Center on my Hyper-V Host called Starship01.mvplab.cloud.
I have Windows Admin Center already running for my MVPLAB with a Windows Server 2019 Hypervisor host. From here I will install a New Windows Server Core 20H2 Machine.

Click in the Left toolbar on Virtual Machines 
and then on Add New

Deployment settings for the New Virtual Machine.

Here we set the following settings :

  • Virtual Machine Name
  • Generation VM ( gen 2 is recommended )
  • The path of the VM settings and Disk
  • Virtual Processors
  • a mark for nested virtualization ( for the Hyper-V feature )
  • Memory
  • Network / Virtual Switch
  • Storage

 

When you Add Storage you can select also the new ISO file for Installation.

I changed the Size of the Operating Disk from 127GB to 50GB
And I selected the path to the Windows Server Core 20H2 ISO.
Then Click on Create.

Windows Admin Center will create the Virtual Machine really fast.

Now the Window Virtual Machine Dark20H2 is created by Windows Admin Center on the Hyper-V Host, we can do the Windows Server Core 20H2 Installation by starting the Virtual Machine.

Before you Start running the VM, have a look at the settings

If you want you can set more Security features here.
You can set Encryption and Security Policy.

Start the Virtual Machine here for Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2
( The ISO is connected )

Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042

The virtual Machine is running and now we can connect it via Windows Admin Center to do the installation of Windows Server.

Click on Connect

Use your Windows Admin Center account and mark
for the certificate. Then Click on Connect

Here we see the Console for the Windows Server Installation.

Install Now.

The Windows Server Core 20H2 is Installed.

Of course you can now configure the Machine via SConfig.exe, I only gave the Server name and a static IP address with DNS.

Via Windows Admin Center ( Manage) you can add the Machine to the domain.

Add the Server to the domain with your account and Click on Join

Server will Restart, Click on Yes

Dark20H2 Joined the Domain MVPLAB.CLOUD Successfully

 Adding the Windows Server Core 20H2 to Windows Admin Center

Add Dark20H2.mvplab.cloud to Windows Admin Center.

Of course I want to manage the server with Windows Admin Center and use all the tools I need to securely manage this Server.

Windows Server Core 20H2 in Windows Admin Center.

First thing what I do in my MVPLAB is Windows Updates.

December Updates for Windows Server Core 20H2

Updates Installed Successfully 🙂

Azure Hybrid Services

Azure Hybrid Services

You can extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using Azure hybrid services. These cloud services provide an array of useful functions, both for extending on-premises into Azure, and for centrally managing from Azure. Think of :

  • Azure Backup Services
  • Azure Monitoring Services
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Azure File Sync Services
  • Azure Security Center / Azure Defender Services

Here you find more information about Azure Hybrid Services

Conclusion

Windows Admin Center is a must have when you have to manage Windows Server Core versions, you don’t have to worry about all the Commands of Windows Server Core. With Windows Admin Center it becomes easy to do the complete installation of the server and this include also all features of Windows Server Core 202H2 Build 10.0.19042. It becomes really powerful when you use it in a Hybrid way by connecting to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Earlier I wrote a blogpost about Windows Admin Center and Azure Security Center

I Hope this is useful for you, and start your journey with Windows Admin Center & Windows Server Core versions 😉

JOIN the Windows Admin Center Community Group on LinkedIn


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Deploying Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center #WAC #AzureStackHCI #WindowsAdminCenter #Hyperv #AKS

Azure Stack HCI is a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) cluster solution that hosts virtualized Windows and Linux workloads and their storage in a hybrid on-premises environment. Azure hybrid services enhance the cluster with capabilities such as cloud-based monitoring, Site Recovery, and VM backups, as well as a central view of all of your Azure Stack HCI deployments in the Azure portal. You can manage the cluster with your existing tools including Windows Admin Center, System Center, and PowerShell.

Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2 is a new operating system now in Public Preview and available for download. It’s intended for on-premises clusters running virtualized workloads, with hybrid-cloud connections built-in. As such, Azure Stack HCI is delivered as an Azure service and billed on an Azure subscription. Azure Stack HCI also now includes the ability to host the Azure Kubernetes Service; for details, see Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI.

Get Started with Azure Stack HCI and Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Azure Stack HCI. The simplest way to install Windows Admin Center is on a local management PC (desktop mode), although you can also install it on a server (service mode).

If you install Windows Admin Center on a server, tasks that require CredSSP, such as cluster creation and installing updates and extensions, require using an account that’s a member of the Gateway Administrators group on the Windows Admin Center server. For more information, see the first two sections of Configure User Access Control and Permissions.

Before you begin, you have to know that Azure Stack HCI is still in Preview and not for Production usage ready. But I’m installing it in my MVPLAB for testing purpose only and learn all the New Features.

What’s New in Azure Stack HCI

Clusters running Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2 have the following new features as compared to Windows Server 2019-based solutions:

  • New capabilities in Windows Admin Center: With the ability to create and update hyper-converged clusters via an intuitive UI, Azure Stack HCI is easier than ever to use.
  • Stretched clusters for automatic failover: Multi-site clustering with Storage Replica replication and automatic VM failover provides native disaster recovery and business continuity to clusters that use Storage Spaces Direct.
  • Affinity and anti-affinity rules: These can be used similarly to how Azure uses Availability Zones to keep VMs and storage together or apart in clusters with multiple fault domains, such as stretched clusters.
  • Azure portal integration: The Azure portal experience for Azure Stack HCI is designed to view all of your Azure Stack HCI clusters across the globe, with new features in development.
  • GPU acceleration for high-performance workloads: AI/ML applications can benefit from boosting performance with GPUs.
  • BitLocker encryption: You can now use BitLocker to encrypt the contents of data volumes on Azure Stack HCI, helping government and other customers stay compliant with standards such as FIPS 140-2 and HIPAA.
  • Improved Storage Spaces Direct volume repair speed: Repair volumes quickly and seamlessly.

In the Following Step-by-Step guide we install Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center.

 

Click on Add and then Create New Server Cluster.

Choose for Azure Stack HCI.

Here you can also choose for both Azure Stack HCI nodes are in the same Site or you have more Azure Stack HCI Nodes in Two Sites for disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.
In my MVPLAB I have all Azure Stack HCI nodes in One Site. More information about Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Stretching Clusters can be found here.

Prerequisites before you begin with Windows Admin Center wizard for Creating Azure Stack HCI Cluster.

This is what I like about Windows Admin Center, supporting you in all steps and choices for making an Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Storage Spaces Direct.

 

Specify your administrator Account and password and add the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Add the Nodes to the Domain.

Install Required Features on the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Install Updates on the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Here you get options from your hardware vendor
I don’t get this because it’s virtual.

Restart the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers and Click Next Networking

Networking adapters are UP and Running.

When you have Enough Nics in your Azure Stack HCI Node Server, you can choose here for a Teamed Management NIC.
I choose for a single management NIC.
Plan your Azure Stack HCI Node network

Configure your Production and Storage network

Here you can configure different Switches for your workloads.
Windows Admin Center will work with Software Defined Networking (SDN)
I Skipped this in my MVPLAB.

Before creating the Azure Stack HCI Cluster, we have to Validate the Cluster first.

When the Cluster Validation is done, you can download the Cluster Validation report.

Here we give the Cluster a Name and a static IP.
Click Create Cluster.

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster is created 😉
Click Next for Storage.

Click Next

I Got some small disks Click Next.

Storage is validated and suitable for Storage Spaces Direct.

Storage Spaces Direct is enabled on your Azure Stack HCI Cluster.
Click Next for SDN

Here you can configure the Network Controller for the Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Done your Azure Stack HCI Cluster is made 🙂

Here we have the Dashboard in Windows Admin Center of my Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Management of your Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Managing your Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center is important, because I have connected WAC with my Azure Subscription I can use Azure Monitor.
From here the Cluster is also connected with my Analytics workspace of Azure Monitor.

Azure Stack HCI Cluster Nodes connected with Azure Monitor.

With Windows Admin Center you can manage the Azure Stack HCI updates with Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) without any downtime for your workloads.


Start Cluster Aware Updating

Click on Install

One Azure Stack HCI Node is waiting and the other is Installing.

Now the other Azure Stack HCI Node is Installing the Update.

Updates Succeeded on both Azure Stack HCI Nodes.

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster is Running

Create your Virtual Machine on Azure Stack HCI Cluster.

Conclusion

Windows Admin Center supports you all the way for making your Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster in easy steps deployment wizard. Of course you can make also your own PowerShell deployment scripts when you have to make more Azure Stack HCI Clusters for different platforms like Deploying virtual machines or AKS Kubernetes Clusters for Container Applications or a SQL environment.
Here you find more information about PowerShell commands

After deploying Azure Stack HCI Clusters with your own PowerShell Script, you can add the Cluster into Windows Admin Center for IT Management.
The Installation time of the Cluster is really fast. I hope this will give you more inside information about the Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster and Windows Admin Center better Together!
Next Step is AKS Kubernetes on Azure Stack HCI 😉

Kubernetes Containers on your Azure Stack HCI


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Windows Admin Center and The Container Extension #WAC #Containers #Winserv

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Windows servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, as well as Windows 10 PCs. It comes at no additional cost beyond Windows and is ready to use in production. If you want to work more secure with Windows Server Core images without the GUI or with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI operating system then Windows Admin Center is the tool for the Administrator to manage your workloads on-premises or in the Cloud. You have one web based interface for all your Server consoles (MMC) to manage your Hybrid Datacenter.
Here you can read more about Microsoft Windows Admin Center and download the free software.

Get the best with Windows Admin Center Extensions

Windows Admin Center and the Container Extension

When you have installed Microsoft Windows Admin Center you can configure the settings and extensions for your environment. When you want the benefits of the Microsoft azure Cloud Services you can configure your Azure subscription and add the extensions to your Windows Admin Center. There are also Third Party extensions like Dell, DataOn, Fujitsu and more.
Here you find more information about how extensions work.

Container Extension

In the following step-by-step guide we will work with the Container Extension of Windows Admin Center on a Windows Server 2019. You have already added the server in WAC and installed the Container extension. In my MVPLAB.CLOUD is that Windows Server 2019 datacenter Starship01.mvplab.cloud. When you open the server you will come in the Overview of the Windows Server:

Click on Containers.

Click on Install for the Docker installation on Starship01.mvplab.cloud.

This will install Docker on the Windows Server 2019 and reboot when it’s ready to use for Containers. From this moment you can work with Windows Containers on the host via Windows Admin Center.

Remote Desktop in Windows Admin Center, the docker host is installed with the Windows Filter by default.

When you want to use Docker Linux Containers with Windows Server 2019 host, you have to configure the Linux kit LCOW with a distro on the host. More info here

Containers on Starship01.mvplab.cloud

To start with containers you can create your own, or pull an image from Docker Hub with Windows Admin Center. In my case I pull Windows Server 2019 ltsc with IIS image.

mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore/iis  (Image)

windowsservercore-ltsc2019 (Tag)

Click then on Pull.

Select your image and click on Run.
Give your Container a name and set your settings.

Click on Run.

Click on Containers tab and you will see your running Container

More details you see the IP-Address of the Container.

IIS is running on Windows Server 2019 ltsc in a Docker Windows Container.
That was easy right 😉

Making your Own Docker file with Windows Admin Center Container Extension

When you have your own Github repository with your software, you can make your own docker file and make a docker image on your host for deployment. To show this I have used this sample on Microsoft docs, but you can clone also a github repository and copy the dockerfile on the host.

I copied the dockerfile on the host C:\BuildImage.

—————

# Sample Dockerfile

# Indicates that the windowsservercore image will be used as the base image.
FROM mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2019

# Metadata indicating an image maintainer.
LABEL maintainer=”jshelton@contoso.com”

# Uses dism.exe to install the IIS role.
RUN dism.exe /online /enable-feature /all /featurename:iis-webserver /NoRestart

# Creates an HTML file and adds content to this file.
RUN echo “Hello World – Dockerfile” > c:\inetpub\wwwroot\index.html

# Sets a command or process that will run each time a container is run from the new image.
CMD [ “cmd” ]


Here is the Microsoft docs website

Image Creation in progress

New Image Created with Windows Admin Center

Running your Own Container image

Container “Hello World – Dockerfile” running

Conclusion :

In Windows Admin Center comes ITpro world and DevOps world Together in One web based console like with the Container extension. Microsoft is developing really fast in Windows Admin Center to get all the right Feature for ITPro, DevOps and SecOps Administrators in one place. Awesome are the Windows Admin Center Extensions, developers makes these better and better to do the job for Administrators 🚀
Windows Server 2019 Core and Azure Stack HCI are Operating systems without a GUI, and with Windows Admin Center they are really good to manage, update and keeping in control of security.
I like Windows Admin Center a lot and it Rocks for managing your hybrid Datacenter 😉

Send your comments and feedback via Microsoft GitHub repo by opening a new issue for the Container Extension. Follow @vrapolinario on Twitter

 

You can Follow Windows Admin Center here on Twitter : @servermgmt


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#Microsoft Windows Admin Center and Azure Backup Management #WAC #Azure

Microsoft Windows Admin Center

Microsoft Windows Admin Center is a web based App working in your modern browser like Edge or Chrome to manage your datacenter infrastructure. You can download it here
You can manage Windows Servers, Windows10 Desktops, Clusters, Hyperconverged Clusters, Storage Spaces Direct and more in a Hybrid environment and that’s what I like.
My Servers can be on-premises or in the Cloud like Azure and will manage them with Windows Admin Center.

Download the Windows Admin Center Overview Poster

Here you find all the Microsoft documentation about Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center and Azure backup integration

 

When you have Windows Admin Center running you can register with Microsoft Azure first in the settings of Windows Admin Center.

Register to your Azure Subscription, just follow the instructions.

Install Azure Backup Extension at Available extensions.

From here the basic settings are done and we will have a look at my MVP LAB to backup a virtual Server.

Windows Admin Center in Domain MVPLAB.CLOUD

I have selected stormtrooper01.mvplab.cloud Windows Server 2019 and on the left Azure Backup.

You can read here more about Microsoft Azure Backup

Click on setup Azure Backup.

Here you select the Azure Subscription and the Backup Vault
and this will be a system state backup.

Next Step is Backup Schedule and Encryption key.

IMPORTANT: Keep this Encryption key somewhere save !
You need this key for recovery and Microsoft does not have access to that key.

Azure Backup Schedule settings.

When you apply here it will setup the Azure backup agent and your policies.

Backup is scheduled.

Here I did the Backup by hand.

Here you see the backup in the Azure Backup Vault.
Backup done via Windows Admin Center 😉

Here you see a video from Microsoft Mechanics at Ignite with Jeff Woolsey

Follow Windows Admin Center here on Twitter

Don’t forget to give feedback or great ideas !