Configuring iSCSI Target in Windows server 2016

In one of my previous post we discussed on the steps to configure Windows Server 2016 as an iSCSI Server. To access LUN created on iSCSI Storage system it is required to configure iSCSI targets on the servers where the iSCSI LUN should be accessible. iSCSI targets are created to manage connections between iSCSI storage and the servers that need to access them. Once you assign LUN to a target,  all servers that log on to that target will have access to the LUNs assigned to it.

In this post I will be covering the step to configure iSCSI Target in Window Server 2016.

Logon to the server and open Server Manager. Click on Tools -> iSCSI targets. You will see the below prompt as Microsoft iSCSI service won’t be running by default on the Windows Server 2016. Click Yes to start the Microsoft iSCSI Service on the server.

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Click on Discover Portal under Discovery Tab13

Provide the IP Address of the iSCSI Servers. Don’t change the default port 3260 used for iSCSI communication. Click on Advanced.

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Choose the Local adapter as Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and the Initiator IP Address from the drop down list. Click OK to proceed further.15

Click on Targets tab. 16

Select the appropriate discovered target from the list and click on connect.

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Click on Advanced24

Choose Local Adapter, Initiator IP & Target Portal IP and click OK.25

Post successful connection you will find status as connected.26

Post successful connection between iSCSI SAN Storage and iSCSI initiator you will find the disk as RAW disk under disk management. Now you can mount & format the disk to make it usable.

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 In this post, we covered the steps to configure iSCSI initiator in Windows Server 2016. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it

Configuring Windows Server 2016 as iSCSI Server

In this post I’m going to show the steps to install and configure iSCSI Server in Windows Server 2016. iSCSI ( Internet Small Computer System Interface) allows to send SCSI command over LAN or WAN. iSCSI devices are disks, tapes, CDs, and other storage devices on another networked computer that you can connect to. While accessing storage devices using iSCSI, the client will be referred as iSCSI initiator and the storage device will be referred as iSCSI target.

  Step – 1  : Configuring Windows Server 2016 as iSCSI Server

The first thing required to configure Windows Server 2016 as a iSCSI Server is to install iSCSI Target Server role on Windows Server 2016.  Open the Add Roles and Feature Wizard and choose iSCSI Target Server from the list of Roles under File and Storage Services. Click Install to proceed further.

1Do not choose any option from the feature list. Click on Next on another slides to finish the iSCSI Target Server Role installation.2

Post sucessful installation of iSCSI Target server role. Open Server Manager and Click on File and Storage Services.

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Click on iSCSI. To share storage, the first thing is to create an iSCSI LUN. iSCSI virtual disk is backed by a VHD. Click on “To create an iSCSI virtual disk, start the New iSCSI Virtual Disk Wizard” 5

Select the Server and the volume. Click on Next.6

Specify the iSCSI virtual disk name and click Next.

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Provide the size of the virtual disk. Choose the option from Fixed Size, Dynamically expanding or Differencing depending on your organization requirements. 8Choose New iSCSI Target.9Choose the Target Name10Next step we need to do is to choose the Access Server who will be accessing iSCSI Server. Click on Add.11

Before adding iSCSI connecting initiator to the list configure iSCSI initiators to connect to this iSCSI Server.

Click on Add iSCSI initiator. You can see all the configured iSCSI imitators connecting to this iSCSI Server. Click OK to proceed further.

17Click on Add to add more iSCSI initiator’s to the list of Access servers.18As we don’t have CHAP authentication configured. Click on Next to proceed.19Review the setting. Click on Create to finish the setup.20

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In this post, we covered the steps to configure Windows Server 2016 as an iSCSI Server. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it

New in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

This post briefs the new and changed functionality of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview and Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 Server Technical Preview. Hyper-V 2016 will bring lots of new functionality and enhancements that will improve your data center and solve some of the limitations you might be experiencing.

Compatible with Connected Standby

Connected Standby power state is now available If Hyper-V role is installed on computer that uses the AOAC ( Always ON / Always Connected ) Power model.

Host Resource Protection:

This feature prevents a virtual machine using more systems resources then assigned by looking to level of activity. This feature prevents the degradation of the performance of the host or other virtual machines. By default, Host Resource protection is disabled and can be enabled executing the below PowerShell command.

Set-VMProcessor -EnableHostResourceProtection $true

Hot add of Memory and Networking Adapters:

Windows 2016 provides administrator’s an ability to add and remove network adapters without downtime on a Hyper-V Generation 2 Virtual machine. You can also adjust memory on the fly. This does not require dynamic memory to be enabled and can work on any Generation 1 and Generation 2 Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview or Windows 10 as guest OS.

Integration Services

As a best practice it is advisable to always keep integration services up-to-date. With Windows Server 2016 Integration Services, updates will be delivered by Windows update. This functionality allows workload owners to have control over the integration services update process and they are not dependent on infrastructure services anymore.

Hyper-V Manager improvements (updated)

With Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Manager, Microsoft bring enhancements like down-level management, which will help administrators to use Hyper-V Manager 2016 to manage lower versions of Hyper-V (starting from 2012 or Windows 8 and higher). You can now also use alternate credentials to connect remote Hyper-V Host. Hyper-V Manager now use WS-MAN Protocol, which permits CredSSP, Kerberos or NTLM authentication. WS-MAN connects over port 80, which is open by default.

Linux Secure Boot

Linux running on generation 2 virtual machines (generation 2 VMs) can now boot with the Secure Boot option enabled on host running Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. You must configure the virtual machine to use the Microsoft UEFI Certificate Authority before virtual machine boots first time.

Set-VMFirmware <virtual_machine_name> -SecureBootTemplate MicrosoftUEFICertificateAuthority

Currently supported Linux distribution are Ubuntu 14.04 and later, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and later, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 and later, and CentOS 7.0.

Nested Virtualization

With Windows Servers 2016 Technical Preview 4 Microsoft introduced Nested Virtualization in Windows Server Hyper-V. This feature allows you to run a Hypervisor inside a Virtual Machine running on a Hypervisor. This is a great case for demo and lab environment. To use Nested Virtualization you need

  • At least 4 GB RAM available for the virtualized Hyper-V host.
  • At least Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 or Windows 10 build 10565 on both the physical Hyper-V host and the virtualized host.
  • A processor with Intel VT-x

To configure virtual machine as nested Hyper-V host you are required to expose virtualization extensions.

Set-VMProcessor -VMName <VMName> -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true

Networking features

  • Remote direct memory access (RDMA) and switch embedded teaming (SET) : In Windows Server® 2012 R2, RDMA services can not be bound to a Hyper-V Virtual Switch. This increases the number of physical network adapters that are required to be installed in the Hyper-V host. Using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, you can configure RDMA on network adapters bound to a Hyper-V virtual switch, regardless of whether SET is also used. SET provides a virtual switch with some of same capabilities as NIC teaming.
  • Virtual machine multi queues (VMMQ). Windows network team designed feature called virtual machines queues to solve single processor bottleneck in VMSWITCH. Virtual machine queues allows to use multiple processor for networking traffic.This feature allowed a NIC to have separate queues that gets associated with one or more destination MAC address. This improves on VMQ throughput by allocating multiple hardware queues per virtual machine.

  • Quality of service (QoS) for software-defined networks. Manages the default class of traffic through the virtual switch within the default class bandwidth.

Production Checkpoints

Microsoft have always told that VM checkpoints (VM snapshots in VMware) can’t be used in a production environment because of resource and storage issues. In Windows Server 2016 use VSS technology (for Windows) or flush the file system buffers (for Linux) to create production checkpoint. Production checkpoints are based on backup technology inside the guest instead of a saved state.

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Hyper-V Cluster Upgrade without downtime

Now you don’t need any downtime for upgrading the Hyper-V. You can add a Windows Server 2016 in your existing 2012 R2 cluster. Till the time all the nodes part of a cluster get upgraded to Windows Server 2016, cluster will run at Windows Server 2012 R2 feature level.  Once all the node get upgraded to Windows Server 2016 cluster, functional level can be upgraded to use new features available in Windows Server 2016. Post upgrading the cluster functional level to Windows Server 2016 you won’t be able to add Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host in the cluster.

Shielded virtual machines

In scenarios where you are a cloud service provider or enterprise private cloud administrator, shielded virtual machines provides a more secure environment for tenant VMs. Once you shield a virtual machine, it would be harder for malware or Hyper-V administrator to steal, inspect or tamper data from the state of a shielded virtual machine. A shielded virtual machine can be restricted to run only on known, healthy host.

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Virtual machine configuration file format (updated)

In Windows Server 2016, new format is being used for virtual machine configuration files to make data corruption less likely if a storage failure occurs. Virtual machine configuration data files use a .vmcx file name extension and runtime state data files use a .vmrs file name extension.

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Windows Containers

In Windows Server 2016 provides operating system level virtualization using Windows Containers. Windows Containers allows to run completely isolated applications on a single system. Windows Server 2016 supports two different type of containers runtime each with a different degree of application isolation. Windows Server Containers achieve isolation through namespace and process isolation. Hyper-V Containers encapsulates each container in a light weight virtual machine. The Windows container role is only available on Windows Server 2016 TP5 (Full and Core), Nano Server, and Windows 10 (insiders build 14352 and up). If Hyper-V containers will be run, the Hyper-V role will need to be installed.

Windows PowerShell Direct

Existing tools that like Remote PowerSheel, Remote Desktop or VMConnect,  Hyper-V administrators use to connect to a virtual machine on a Hyper-V host have few trade-offs like VMConnect is hard to automate. Remote PowerShell is powerful, but can be hard to set up and maintain. Windows PowerShell Direct runs between the host and the virtual machine. It doesn’t require networking or firewall requirements, and it regardless of your remote management configuration.

I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it

 

Connecting Windows Server 2016 Nano Server using PowerShell

In one of my earlier blog I covered the process of creating your Nano Server Image and boot it as a virtual machine.  If you are familiar with Nano Server, we know Nano Server is a headless server. Being a headless server we cannot login to a Nano Server using console or RDP. The only way we can login to a Nano Server is using PowerShell or WinRM. Using Nano Server Recovery console, you can only view very limited information and perform very limited task.

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Before remoting into a Nano Server using PowerShell you are required to perform some system configuration.

From the PowerShell console execute the following command to start WinRM service.

net start WinRM
Execute the below command from the PS console substituting servername or IP with the appropriate value 
Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value *
OR
Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value <IP_address_of_Nano_Server or Host_Name>
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Post configuring the PowerShell Session now you can start a session with your Nano Server executing below command substituting servername or IP with the appropriate value.
Enter-PSSession -ComputerName “192.168.109.30” -Credential nanosvr1\Administrator
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If you are running Nano Server in a Virtual Machine on a Hyper-V host you can use PowerShell Direct to directly connect from your local Hyper-V host to your Nano Server VM. This concludes the step we need to follow to manager Windows Server 2016 Nano Server running in a virtual machine. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it

Deploying Windows Server 2016 TP5 Nano Server as Virtual Machine

With Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 Microsoft comes up with a concept of purpose-build operating system called Nano Server for born-in-the-cloud applications and containers. Nano Server is the refactored minimal install option for Windows Server optimized for cloud and DevOps workflows. To achieve deliberately small initial footprint functionalities like GUI stack, 32-bit support (WOW64), MSI and a number of default Server Core components are no more part of Nano Server.  All management of Nano Server can only be performed from remote via WMI and PowerShell. There is no local logon or Remote Desktop support. Windows Servers Roles and Features installation can be performed on Demand.

In this post I will walk you through the steps of deploying Nano Server as a Virtual Machine.

Step 1: Creating Nano Server VHD

Mount the Windows Server 2016 ISO and open the drive location using file explorer. You will get the directory NanoServer.

Inside the NanoServer directory you will get another directory NanoServerImageGenerator have the scripts we will be using to create NanoServer VHD.

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Open the PowerShell command window and import the modules. Set the Execution Policy to unrestricted executing Set-ExecutionPolicy command

  • Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted
  • PS D:\NanoServer\NanoServerImageGenerator> Import-Module .\Convert-WindowsImage.ps1
  • PS D:\NanoServer\NanoServerImageGenerator> Import-Module .\NanoServerImageGenerator.psm1

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Post importing all the modules we are ready to create Nano Server VHD executing New-NanoServerImage command.

  • $mediapath = “D:\”
  • $basepath = “C:\Nano”
  • $targetpath = “C:\Nano\NanoSVR1.vhd”
  • $computername = “NanoSVR1”
  • $interface = “Ethernet”
  • $ipv4address = “192.168.109.20”
  • $ipv4mask = “255.255.255.0”
  • $ipvgateway = “192.168.109.4”

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New-NanoServerImage -MediaPath $mediapath -BasePath $basepath -TargetPath $targetpath -ComputerName $computername $interface -Ipv4Address $ipv4address -Ipv4SubnetMask $ipv4mask -Ipv4Gateway $ipvgateway

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 Post completion of the process you will get a confirmation of VHD successfully created.

Step 2: Installing Guest Drivers

 In order to run Nano Server as virtual machine, we are required to install Guest tools within Nano Server VHD. Mount the VHD using Mount-DiskImage. This command will mount VHD as a drive. Verify the drive using file explore.

  •  Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath C:\NanoSVR1.vhd

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  •  Add the Guest tools packages in VHD using Add-WindowsPackage command

Add-WindowsPackage -Path <drive_name> -PackagePath D:\NanoServer\Packages\Microsoft-NanoServer-Guest-Package.cab

  • Dismount the disk post installation of Guest package using Dismount-DiskImage

 Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath C:\Nano\NanoSVR1.vhd

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 Step 3: Add the Nano Server as Virtual Machine using Hyper-V Manager

Post addition of Guest package in Nano Server VHD, you can create a new virtual machine using Hyper-V manager using the existing VHD file.

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Power on the virtual machine from Hyper-V Manager.

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This concludes the deployment of Windows Server 2016 Nano Server as a virtual machine. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it